Howard Pyle’s 1903 painting The Nation Makers is an image of a mass of humanity surging forward, that mass is composed of identifiable individuals, as in all wars and battles. None of these individuals turn and looking out at us the viewers, instead they are all moving forward into their future. That concentrated action gives us hope that we too will bear our responsibilities honorably. ~ The Rockwell Center
Over the past months I have given a lot of thought to what citizenship means in America today and I have come to realize that with that statement on Howard Pyle’s The Nation Makers, The Rockwell Center captures the very essence of what I have come to realize is the foundation of what makes America great. Along with our countrymen and women that have chosen to make a career in service to others, there are millions of Americans that do not earn a paycheck for their efforts but are out there doing the hard work of building a better future for themselves and the rest of us every day just the same. These citizen champions are actively applying their very valuable time and skill sets to bring forth the change they want to see in the world and we are all better for it. These identifiable individuals moving honorably forward into the future are the embodiment of what it takes to make a difference in this world. Serving as a mentor, volunteering in their community, sharing knowledge and teaching someone a new skill or simply being a good mother, father, aunt, uncle, brother, sister or grandparent, it all counts!
With this perspective as the backdrop, it is with great pride and hopefulness that I am announcing the Nation Makers initiative. Nation Makers is born out of a motivation to do something in some small way to recognize any and everyone that gives of themselves daily, either at their jobs that happen to be in public service (teachers, nurses, police officers, etc.) or in their private lives as volunteers or mentors in their community because they feel it’s important. Regardless of how someone chooses to be active in the hard but extremely valuable work of doing what they can to make the world a better place, I believe that the every day heroes that are all around us should be honored and deserve to be recognized. Everyone loves to have their hard work acknowledged, even when acknowledgement is not the goal. These folks serve as an inspiration to us all and in having someone take the time to say thank you serves as fuel for their fire for service. It’s a beautifully symbiotic circle of awesomeness.
A Nation Maker is anyone that gives of themselves and/or their time in the service of others with a good heart in an effort to do their small part to create the world they want to live in and make it a better place for their family and friends. Anyone observed making this kind of effort qualifies and has earned the right to be a member. It is up to each of us fellow citizens to recognize their efforts and award them with the title.
I wanted to create a way for any of us to honor and recognize anyone that is actively attempting to create the change in the world they wish to see, so I designed and created a tactical morale patch that can be given to anyone that meets this simple criteria as an honor that can be displayed as a badge of pride. By giving this gift, we the givers have the opportunity to say thank you to the receiver for all they do and tell these every day heroes exactly why we appreciate their service, what the patch is all about and why we have chosen to give it to them. Friends or perfect strangers, anyone can be awarded the Nation Makers patch. Hopefully, we can become more in touch with our communities and maybe even make a few new friends in the process.
The key to this initiative lies with you. In order for this idea to have the kind of impact I hope it can have, you and I have to make it happen by identifying Nation Makers in your community and recognizing them by presenting them a patch. That is why I am making the Nation Makers patches available for sale through our website. Simply order the number of patches you need and then award them as you see fit. In an effort to multiply the impact of one good act further, we will donate one dollar from the sale of each patch to groups that are doing good work to help others at a national level like The Franklin Project, Team Rubicon and First Response Team of America. Of course, this effort will have much more impact if the response to the initiative is strong. The more patches we sell, the more people we can recognize and the more money we will be able to donate to these wonderful groups.
In the end, the Nation Makers initiative is an effort to do good. By recognizing those that have dedicated their lives to the service of others, we are supporting their efforts by proving that their work is resonating with others and our neighbors, our communities and our nation are better for it as a result. I hope you will join me in this effort. After all, any one of us is every one of us and we can all make a difference.
Get the Nation Makers™ patch HERE.