Dear World

BY Doug Jones

August 23, 2012


I was recently at a conference for my day job, representing our company in the exhibit hall for an industry trade show. The conference sponsors invited a photojournalist from Dear World to be part of the activities and to allow conference attenders to share messages with their families, friends, and communities. It was a great diversion from long hours of talking shop to watch folks get excited about their passions by sharing their messages with the world, through a single snapshot.

Dear World was a photo project that started in New Orleans after Katrina. It was a simple way for everyday folks, sports figures, celebrities, and politicians to share their messages with the world. In the simple gesture of writing a few words on their skin and the snap of a shutter, each person who desired could share their message in a powerful way with all who saw the picture. In a real way, many of these photos share a profound poetry and striking image of determination, joy, hope, and power. The idea that began in New Orleans has spread far and wide, including people from all over the world. You can see many of the images in the galleries at

On the last day of the conference, I overcame my reluctance and pulled up my sleeves to share my message through Dear World. I chose to share the motto of the Benedictine Order, ora et labora. In those three Latin words, the Benedictine tradition of prayer and work is offered. Make prayer your highest work and your everyday work prayer.

If you had Dear World show up at one of your events, what message would burn within you to share with your friends, family, community, and world?


[Photo credit:]

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2 comments on “Dear World

  1. I love the the piece!- and the pic is stunning, Doug. I am saving it. It jsut captures so much as you said- in a single frame.
    Many thanks for enlightening me to this wonderful idea. I’m afraid I would be flippant about what to say- but think I know the best words for me.

  2. Jim,

    Thanks for your encouraging words. Glad it is a post that isn’t falling flat! Still would love to hear your “best words” – but there is something about the combination of words and image that definitely helps communicate with poetic impact.

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