One of my Unreasonable Projects

By Javier Munoz
Posted on: June 1, 2010
8 comments so far (is that a lot?)

foto_marruecosSome of you may think Just Action is my Unreasonable Project, but by now, giving the growing support we are getting, I feel the goal set in the Just Action Challenge is absolutely within reach. Unreasonable projects can only be defined from your own perspective. What could seem delusional to some people, could be a day-to-day occurrence to others.

Some of my readers have questioned the term Unreasonable, and to some degree, I intended this exchange of ideas since it motivates you to assess the meaning of this term in the context of your own projects. I use the term unreasonable not to question whether there should be a reason as in purpose behind your project. I use this term to help us stretch our comfort zone in setting objectives and enacting possibilities in our mind even if they are seemingly unattainable ideas.

As an example, I will tell a story about one of my first unreasonable projects:

Europe’s deadliest conflict after World War II, was the war in the former Yugoslavia between 1990 and 1995. At the time, the world was witness to the atrocities of genocide all over again. Many of us were left thinking that humanity had not learned anything from previous wars. I was particularly outraged by the fact that European and US leaders did not take a strong stand to prevent the ethnic cleansing that was going on.

The war might have ended in 1995, but there were many wounds that still remain open to this date. At the time, I had already started experimenting with the Internet. I was very active in Compuserve, one of the first Internet Service Providers, participating in many forums and chats to express different ideas. Since my early childhood, I enjoyed envisioning and pursuing what could seem unreasonable ideas. So, I decided to go to the Compuserve forums to share an idea I had to help communities recover after been ravaged by war. I had never heard of such an initiative and I don’t know if something like this has ever been done, but we had the technology to do it in 1994. The question was whether we had the will?

On July 1994, Václav Havel, 1st President of the Czech Republic, gave a landmark speech titled The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern World, in Independence Hall Philadelphia. This speech appealed to the spiritual dimension of being as the last frontier in dealing with human suffering. It was set in the context of the conflict in Yugoslavia, but his words remain as relevant today as they were then. This amazing speech inspired me to create one of my first Unreasonable Projects, the concept of the Healing Expedition.

The Healing Expedition

Healing Expedition Trucks
The Healing Expedition is the name of my Unreasonable Project. Imagine an expedition of trucks equipped with satellite communication equipment and the ability to connect to the internet from any location. The expedition would have an official peace keeping objective, but they would be part of a civilian initiative financed by participants from all countries. The expedition would travel to all towns and cities that were destroyed by the war and setup a large white tent, a concert-like stage, and a giant movie screen. Then, with the support of peace keeping forces from the United Nations, we would broadcast on the giant screen live messages from people that have gone through and recovered from similar conflicts in other parts of the world. Also, there would be interviews with families that have experienced great loss to highlight how they found ways to cope and be productive.

The stage would be set in a public area of the city center to encourage locals to express their grief and their pain as a way to release their frustration and find support from international communities. Each family would tell their story to a live international audience of other similar families from Vietnam to Congo, from Uganda to Colombia, from Camboya to Argentina. Families from all countries would tell their own stories of loss, grief, and frustration, but with an encouraging tale about their own particular journey to healing. The large white tent would house one-on-one sessions between the affected families and expert volunteers in conflict resolution and spiritual guidance to help local families express their grief and find hope in this healing expedition. There would be games for the children and coaching activities to rebuild their mind-body-souls productively.

Another inspiration: A project called 6 Billion Others produced a site featuring 5,000 interviews in 75 countries. From a Brazilian fisherman to a Chinese shopkeeper, from a German performer to an Afghan farmer, all answered the same questions about their fears, dreams, ordeals, and hopes: What have you learnt from your parents? What do you want to pass on to your children? What difficult circumstances have you been through? What does love mean to you? Questions to find out what unites us. Imagine making a mobile live version of this project!

The Response

I posted this idea in a couple of Compuserve forums only with the sole intent for people to ponder the possibility. I never suspected it would have the response it got! I immediately received a couple of responses from Bosnia. One person told me they were printing my messages and taking them to local leaders of the resistance that had no Internet connection! What!? When I got that message I was truly concerned. I did not want anyone to risk their lives to send my messages to the front lines. Their response was clear… Can you make this happen? Can you setup this expedition?

That took me completely by surprise. I had just finished graduate school, and I had no experience and no contacts to speak of. However, there were a group of desperate people that believed I could do something for them. Needless to say, this left me sleeping very little for the next few days… I considered the situation and took on the project imagining what someone would do if they had the know-how and the resources to execute it. I prepared a document with a more comprehensive description of the project and set on a search for the best channels to present the project.

Not all emails from Bosnia were encouraging. I also got a very tough message from a person that questioned my intentions. He said to me that I had nothing to do with what was happening there. That I was probably writing from a comfortable living room, and that I had no reason to bother. It was all true, my family is from Spain, and I had not traveled to that region before, I have no friends and no apparent interests there… I was in fact comfortable in my living room while writing about these ideas and my life was not in danger. This message left me thinking about my motivation. I was simply expressing my creativity freely with the intent to be of service.

I spent a few months working on the idea and I got no where with it. I had to recognize that the project did not flow, and I had no means to recharge the batteries and sustain my efforts. Even though, I am not working towards this project directly, it is very much part of the context to much of my work. You could see this in my writing, in my friends, and in the resources I post about. You will see it in Just Action itself, a game designed to reinvent ourselves to express our dormant potential. I would certainly love to see The Healing Expedition Project become a reality at some point with your help. Any comments?

8 Responses to “One of my Unreasonable Projects”

  1. virginia Says:

    This would also work in East Timor. What a great idea!

  2. tanuja singha Says:

    God bless u for such a noble thought… i will pray to Lord Krishna — so that u can accomplish ur project as soon as possible/ Hari Om

  3. Javier Munoz Says:

    Hi Virginia,

    Yes, I actually thought of your project in East Timor when writing this post. There are many places where a Healing Expedition such as this would work.

    The same way there is Traditional (modern/western) Medicine and Alternative Medicine, there could be Traditional Peace Keeping activities and Healing Expeditions… I think of this model as an alternative holistic means of Healing for this communities.

    I like to think that all that I am doing now is building towards making this a reality.

  4. Joe Wilkinson Says:

    This is brilliant, AND I can see it becoming a ‘vehicle’ to express positive waves of higher frequencies of Being throughout the world, from wherever we are. They should be everywhere broadcasting, as well as receiving/sharing.
    namaste

  5. arlene sturn Says:

    i would be willing to be involved in a project like this

  6. Jeff Sadler Says:

    I think a simular project could be set up in all contries to spread the word of tolerance to the world, to spread the word of all working together for the betterment of mankind, if people from all countries would stop killing and persecuting others in gods name and begin to come to terms that we are all truly connected, there would be no lack of anything. We would wipe out famine, and medicine for illnesses would be readily available. There are enough resources on this earth for all, and the reason we have lack is because of greed and certain people’s need to control the masses.

  7. Javier Munoz Says:

    YES Jeff! Absolutely! as the project scales, I would like to have several Healing Expeditions in different continents. One of the keys to healing is to be of service to others even while you are still recovering.

    If a community feels in active service for others, they are empowered with a sense of purpose that starts eroding any feeling of hopelessness. All are acts of love that percolate slowly into those open wounds, healing everyone while they heal everyone.

    Thank you for your contribution to this post!

  8. Kathryn Seelye Says:

    Wonderful idea…just think of the potential if we could connect victims of child abuse, rape, natural disasters, etc. to create a victim support network that would eventually end victimization….wow! the potential for this concept of yours is amazing. Thanks for putting it “out there” for everyone. Namaste.

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