As I wrestled to work some meaning into this month’s seventh edition of inwords, I found the beautiful, Ukrainian-coloured bird above, the Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), for its hero image.
This particular Tit is listed as being of Least Concern on the IUCN’s Red List of endangered species.
Last year, as we were short-listing endangered bird species to represent the twelve brand voice archetypes, we settled on the Tibetan Bunting (Emberiza koslowi) which is Near Threatened — like most everything Tibetan — to represent The Caregiver Archetype, in no small part ‘lest we forget’ that nation’s annexation by China’s People’s Liberation Army in 1950.
I was stumped for days thinking that 72 years from now someone may need to remind my great-grandchildren that, like Tibet, Ukraine was once an independent nation.
What happened next is what happens to me every month as I connect disparate brand voice challenges with mythical meaning and heroic observations: I tracked that Blue Tit image from Unsplash to its author Daniil Komov, an avian photographer from St. Petersburg whose images are all CC-BY-NC-SA (freely usable with attribution); and the namesake of the Tibetan Bunting (Emberiza koslowi) to Russian ornithologist Elizabeth Kozlova, author of ‘Avifauna of the Tibetan Plateau, its Genetic Relationships and History’.
As dearly as I love my American friends, I’ve always struggled with the size and proximity (a five-hour drive from Halifax — closer nowadays) of America’s ego. That good-people-first perspective is how I was able to ungrudgingly include the work of two Russians in an inwords issue that I mean to be a tiny voice of support for the continued independence of Ukraine.
In the words of a man who lost his country and won the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize: “We must not lose hope. The 20th century was a century of war and bloodshed. The 21st century must be a century of dialogue.— Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama
I write for change-maker brands other than inwords and How to Brand You, like Toufic Abou Nader, an enthralling keynote speaker from Lebanon.
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