Posted by: millumino | November 28, 2009

My Inspiration for M’illumino

In 2004 and again in 2008 I had a brush with my own mortality.  There is nothing like the fear of losing your own life, or the life of someone in your family, to make you consider your priorities and evaluate your contributions to society. In 2008 I decided that constantly chasing money and financial success was neither adding value to my life nor to my community or society as a whole. So I planned a multi-year, round-the-world, ultimate escape trip  … by recumbent bicycle. It would afford an unprecedented degree of freedom and liberty from the obligations and responsibilities of “normal” life in the developed world. It would allow a gentle pace (propelled by strenuous exercise) and access to geographies and cultures off the moneyed tourist track.

Then I started linking up with old friends via social media and looking at what they had done with their lives:  some achieving to expectation, some wildly successful despite inauspicious starts, others disappointingly reduced to career oblivion despite exhibiting much early promise.  While I did not compare my achievements with theirs, nor regret  any choices made in my life, I did wonder if escaping on my grand cycle tour would be  using the gift of my life in the best possible way.  But the question became what to do? What to do?

I decided to combine my entrepreneurship and e-commerce expertise with the things I love, literature and technology,  and bring my passion for health, life and learning to those who have yet to discover those joys.  I hope to inspire a spirit of sharing and bring hope to those whose lives are deprived of the basic physical and psychological needs which they require to succeed. If I bring literacy and financial resources to inspire even  just one potential leader in an under-privileged community I will have achieved something.

When searching for an appropriate name for a new social enterprise which hoped to enlighten and inspire,  I recalled an essay on an Italian poem which I was required to write as a post-graduate diploma student in languages in 2001.

Here is my documented version of the inspiration for the name M’illumino:

“M’illumino was inspired by the Italian hermetic poet Giuseppe Ungaretti’s 1917 poem Mattina (Morning):

M’illumino
d’immenso

Literally, I illuminate myself with immense.  Or figuratively, the sun rises in me, my light is immense and comes from within.

All humans are “immense” and when this creativity, passion and power is not only recognised but developed and harnessed by societies, corporations, communities and individuals, they will all achieve striking results.

I am excited and passionate about allowing the maximum expression of all facets of our lives through science, art, music, language and communication, architecture, technology, health, relationships, sensuality, spirituality, adventure and the appreciation of unique cultures and the planet’s sensational environment.

Life is magnificent!”

The Gates Foundation suggests that all people are of equal value, I agree, but I would go further; while we are all of equal value we are all immeasurably valuable to ourselves, our families, our communities and human society.  Please be thankful for every little thing in your life and contribute what you can to improving the quality of life of someone less privileged, whether they are in your own community or the other side of the world.

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