Tag Archives: France

Unusual advertising film gets esteem in Cannes

Cannes, France is widely known for its annual International Film Festival.  On June 21-27, 2009 the Cannes Lions 2009 celebrated a different kind of cinematic entertainment – the 56th International Advertising Festival.

This year the Jury awarded its Grand Prix Award for a groundbreaking new film technology.

In the Philips spot “Carousel” viewers traverse an interactive film where the actors and their environment stay frozen in place.

The Grand Prix prize is a huge sign of esteem for advertising filmmakers.

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Julian Lennon’s gesture of esteem

Julian Lennon came home from school one day forty years ago with a picture he had drawn.  He showed it to his father John Lennon and said: that’s Lucy in the sky with diamonds.  He drew his childhood friend Lucy with stars in her eyes.

The picture inspired John Lennon to write one of the most famous songs of all time: Lucy in the sky with diamonds.  Some thought of the title of this song as a hidden message about LSD.  But Lucy really lived and still lives.

Recently Julian Lennon found out that his old friend Lucy, now 46 years old, suffers from an incurable disease.  He immediately decided to fly from France where he lives and works as musician to visit the ailing woman.

“I wanted to do something to put a smile on her face” he said.  And his gesture of esteem by offering emotional support in her condition touched Lucy deeply:  “Julian got in touch with me out of the blue, when he heard how ill I was, and he said he wanted to do something for me.”

What a wonderful act of esteem.

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Esteem for urban architects

Despite the current economic situation, France shows an almost brazen idealism by unveiling one of the most audacious urban plans in recent memory.

Commissioned by President Nicolas Sarkozy the architectural proposals aim to transform Paris and its surrounding suburbs into a sustainable and socially equal city.

French urban architects balance the strong connection between urban policy and social equality.  Their proposals integrate poor and middle-class neighborhoods of Paris into the historic center by creating a vast system of connected parks.

Even if these idealistic plans are never realized, the effort of the architects should be esteemed.  Their urban plans stimulate global discussion about contemporary cities being respectful toward citizens and nature.

We invent our self-esteem from moment to moment

Wherever we stand in life, whatever our age and whatever experiences we made, it’s only the present time where we live our self-esteem.

Fighting with low self-esteem could make us blame life situations or people in our past.  But deeply we know that essentially we live here and now.  On whatever level our self-esteem shows itself, it’s always a picture of the present.

When we want to change it, we better do it now.  When we try to live intensely in the present time we will note that our self-esteem grows automatically and immediately.

Living in the here and now doesn’t leave much space for past and future.  According to the writings of French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre we invent ourselves in each single moment of our life and with us our self-esteem.

We life our life in the here and now, inventing and developing our self-esteem from moment to moment.

Esteem and CERN

Yesterday the news outlets were over-flowing with articles about the first experiment at the CERN laboratory located at the border between Switzerland and France.

At one side it was interesting to read about the scientists excitement calling this first test “a fantastic moment” unveiling the truth about the evolution of the universe.

At the other side we were reading about the reactions and comments of people who were deeply concerned about the effect of these experiments on the world.

As long as science works with esteem toward human beings and nature, scientific experiments are important for the development of society.

Esteem is part of science as well as of life in general.  Only in this case we can be calm about scientific experiments because the life of all of us stands at the very front of the scientific interest.

Cooking Peace Builders

There are many ways to make peace between two factions.  Making pastry is definitely one of the most unusual ways.

Instead of hurling insults, a group of Parisiane Jews and Muslims that call themselves Peace Builders  get together and make pastry.

An old saying goes, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.  These women are taking the first little step.  They say that they don’t want to solve a conflict but to “block the transfer of conflict into France”.

The Peace Builders was created in 2002 by Annie-Paule Derczansky.  Their monthly pastry workshop is only one of many activities and might make them sound like a cooking club.  In reality they are also active in sponsoring culture sharing programs.

Peace starts with a first little step.  These women realize what esteem is about: mutual acknowledgment, being culturally active and having fun together.

French National Holiday

Yesterday was the French National Holiday, called “quattorze juillet” (14 July).

This French National Holiday is also called “Bastille Day” in remembrance of the storming of the Bastille on 14th July 1789.

I was once able to celebrate this day in the South of France and enjoy the festivities.  Each small town has its own military parade – even when there are more dancing girls and musicians than veterans.  Another must is a huge fireworks display in the evening.   Like many other independence day celebrations, citizens come together like one big family on the beaches or lawns of their city to watch the impressive display.

In a higher sense a national day is an expression for esteem because independence means acknowledgment of a country’s culture and tradition.  It’s also a celebration of the present esteem the citizens give their country and the country gives its citizens.

Statue of Liberty – a sign of esteem

On June 17, 1885 the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor.  The meaning of “Lady Liberty” is known: it’s a symbol for freedom and democracy and a symbol for welcoming arriving immigrants.  We could say in other words that the Statue of Liberty is a sign of esteem.

Do you know that the Statue of Liberty has an older sister?  Yes, it’s true.  The sister is smaller than Lady Liberty and stands in Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris.  The French sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi created in 1870 a first statue, a smaller sculpture which should have been given to the United States as gift for the Centennial of the American Declaration of Independence.  Due to various reasons it didn’t happen, and that’s why this sculpture stayed in France to this day.

There is another interesting moment in the story about the Statue of Liberty: Frédéric Bartholdi needed the assistance of an engineer for structural issues.  Do you know whom he asked for help?  It was Gustave Eiffel the designer of the Eiffel Tower in Paris!

In memory of this great day 123 years ago I’d like to remember this wonderful gesture of esteem given from France to the United States.  The Statue of Liberty is an impressive icon showing a cooperative effort to create a beautiful sign of esteem.

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Madagascar’s rich biodiversity saved

Did you know that there are animals living on the island of Madagascar which you won’t find anywhere else in the world?  92% of its reptiles and 80% of its plants are found nowhere else.

Madagascar’s rich ecosystem and extraordinary wildlife will now be highly protected according to a plea from the World Wildlife Fund.

It seems that Madagascar owed France 20 million dollars.  France renounced the right to be payed back if Madagascar used the money for the conservation of its natural resources.  You get an even better feeling when you hear how the money for this protection will be managed.  The WWF fund called “Foundation for Protected Areas and Biodiversity” (FPAB) will manage the cash for the preservation of Madagascar’s nature.

This is indeed a story of double esteem given from France to Madagascar and toward nature.

Do you have a long working day?

How many hours do you work daily, weekly or per year?  Does your work time seem to you as being too long and do you have the feeling that life is flowing away while you go to work?  So many people have this impression, you are not alone.

There are big differences among countries when you examine the length of average work day.  The list, created by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD, ranks the world’s hardest-working countries.  Going through this list and seeing where your own country falls,  perhaps you have to reassess your own work situation.

For this actual ranking the OECD compared different countries by counting the working hours per year, how long the legally allowed vacations are and the number of self-employed workers.

Think your country is number one?   Continue reading Do you have a long working day?