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Beauty, Schönheit, Hope, and Resilience

The power of language shapes the future of humanity. Dieter Brell, Founder of 3deluxe, and Monica Yunus and Camille Zamora, Co-founders of Sing for Hope, do this every day through the lenses of architecture and music.

Hateful language is violence – and today, it’s more common than a punch or a kick.  The human body can survive, heal, grow, and transform, but for many right now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, language within the home is suffering.  The power of language shapes the future of humanity.  Voices within the apartment that children hear are going to be what young minds remember when the global pandemic is over. 

The number one thing parents can do for their children between the ages of 4 and 6 is to have frequent back-and-forth dialogues.  According to a group of researchers at Harvard, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania, these early exchanges teach young minds critical thinking and a give-and-take mindset that can help them later in life. 

Learning to live a happy life with meaning, purpose, and accomplishment begins at age 4.

A number of studies have supported the idea that children who have strong communication skills often grow up to become the adults with higher self-esteem, longer marriages, and overall satisfaction in life.

Katie Shonk, who writes about salary negotiations for the Harvard Law School Daily Blog, sheds light on one Harvard study that supports the notion that skilled communicators often turn out to be great negotiators with the unique ability to “recognize the importance of expanding the pie of value for all parties at the table.  In the process, they claim more money for themselves.”

Learning to be self-sufficient, while simultaneously creating hope and beauty in the world is my greatest dream for the children on the planet today.

Germany does this pretty well. 

Dieter Brell took me on a walk in Wiesbaden, Germany to the Nerotal Park with his dachshund named Junior (above).  He shared the ethos of his company 3deluxe, his design philosophy as an architect, and the extraordinary buildings 3deluxe has created across the planet.  On Noor Island, Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, stands the Butterfly Pavilion.  The Butterfly Pavilion’s incredible beauty characterizes the island, respects nature, and houses more than 500 butterflies in a unique biosphere, while offering visitors the opportunity for contemplation in nature.

The shape and design of the Butterfly Pavilion’s biomorphic outer shell are the beautiful end result of an intense formal exploration of parametric design strategies in dialog with traditional Arabian style.  The freeform roof is composed of a load-bearing 3D frame with over 4,000 golden aluminum leaves of varying sizes – representing Schönheit, or beauty.

Beauty in the home and beauty in the city creates hope within the community.  In New York, Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus bring hope to countless children in schools, elders in nursing homes, and everyday New Yorkers who stop and play the Sing for Hope pianos in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Manhattan.

Sing for Hope’s vibrant pianos bring music into neighborhoods where there was no music – and, in the process, hope flourishes.

In 2018, I was fortunate to experience a Riot of Color David Beahm experience with Monica Yunus, Camille Zamora, and David Beahm.  This unforgettable evening united the power of the arts with the beauty of tulips and our natural world.  I still remember the experience to this day, the music, and the wonderful people I met in the IAC building, designed by legend Frank Gehry.

During our We The Planet live broadcast online for Earth Day, I learned something profound from these Sopranos who first met as Julliard students and founded Sing for Hope.  “Julliard shares a city block with one of the first responders, one of the firehouses, that lost 13 men during 9/11.  In the days after, we knocked on the door of the firehouse and sang songs to these first responders – to offer a little bit of comfort, a little bit of peace,” Yunus shares.

This is the power of true beauty to help others release their grief, grow and transform, and protect all life on the planet – to make the impossible possible.

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