Before I Die...
Posted on August 13, 2012 by
Maybe you've seen the image posted on our Twitter or Facebook with the "Before I Die..." wall, with people writing their bucket list items out in public view. Just like most images we come across on the internet that catch our attention, we all probably Laugh Out Loud, smile to ourselves, think "WTF?," or react in whatever way the particular image makes us react, then proceed to slap it on our own Facebook page. Our friends give it a thumbs up, and maybe make a few funny/snarky comments. The truly exceptional images might even get shared to other people's walls, and go viral. Then, just as fast, the image is forgotten... pushed further down the page by newer stuff until it's out of sight, most likely never to be seen again.
I liked this image because it symbolized one of the goals of Xploritall, to give a place for people to express their interests and aspirations. So, I decided to find some background about the photo.
The creator of the board is Candy Chang, an artist and urban planner in New Orleans. She had recently lost someone close, which caused her to think about what was truly important to her in life. I am sure many of us can relate to that introspection at times of loss. It might sound weird, but if there's any sort of positive side to going through that pain, it's that it does make you have that self-evaluation - it helps to tune out the overwhelming din of everyday life and lets us see what is important. As an experiment, Candy painted an abandoned house in her neighborhood with chalkboard paint, with the repeated stenciled line “Before I die I want to ______.” She left chalk as an invitation for neighbors to fill in the blanks. By the next day, the wall was filled. The idea spread, and other similar walls were put up around the world.
Dreams are important. They give us hope. But goals are even more important, as they give us a roadmap to making those dreams become reality. You know the old saying, "It's a dream until you write it down, then it's a goal." Candy's wall surely taps into that idea.
Hopefully Xploritall will also allow people to put their goals in "writing," and provide tools to accomplish those aspirations!
The first wall is no longer there (someone took ownership of the house), but Candy provides DIY materials to help others get started. Find more information on the project at www.beforeidie.cc