Candy Chang – “Before I die…”

I just watched Candy Chang’s Ted talk – Very inspirational, very moving. I know there is a whole movement about reclaiming public space where people are taking action over space, through street art, guerilla gardening etc. I have loved (and continue to love) this movement and always appreciated the courage that people must have to reclaim public space. 

   What I love about Candy Chang’s “Before I die” project is that is so hopeful, asking people to state their hopes for the future. Death could be at any time, and we need to reclaim the life we have, each and every day. We need to live authentically, and that will look different for each person, but it is choosing how we spend our time. I love Candy Chang’s quote – “Two of the most valuable things we have are time and our relationship with others.” Volunteering and community development is all about these two critical factors – time and relationships. In a world that feels sometimes like it revolves around money, recognizing and reminding ourselves that time and relationships are priority is vitally important. None of us know how long we are on this earth, and with that in mind, I am trying to live authentically and ethically day by day, hour by hour, even minute by minute.

   And my answer? “Before I die, I want to …. see my children grow up and be successful in their life (whatever success looks like to them). Before I die, I want to …. see volunteerism be recognized as critically important to the non-profit sector and social change, see organizational practices be more inclusive and inspiring and because of this, see volunteering rates grow exponentially.


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