Deborah Brown & Associates

Milestones--Usually Hard Work, but Usually Pretty Good, Too              

Milestones are all around us. I'm not talking about the original kind, i.e., the stone marker by the side of the road indicating the distance in miles to a particular place. No, the milestones I'm talking about are the significant changes by which we mark our histories whether they be personal, corporate, political, medical, etc., etc.

Think about it. People's stories tend to consist of a series of milestones in their lives. Same with a timeline of a company on its anniversary (usually a milestone in and of itself). Medical breakthroughs, important speeches, turning points in wars, a lot of history is boiled down to the everyday meaning of milestone.

One of my favorite personal milestones took place back in the spring of 1970 when I was in college.  If any of you were conscious back then, you know that there was a huge movement around the colleges and universities in the US to boycott classes in protest of the Viet Nam war. I was never very political back then, but thought it would be jolly good fun to skip class and hang out with my friends all day. I made the mistake of telling my parents when they asked, that yes, I was not going to class because I was protesting against the war.

Much to my naive surprise, they weren't happy at all and insisted that I come home and explain to them what exactly my issues were and why I thought that not going to class was going to make a difference. I was stunned...and panicked. I really had no idea what I was going to tell them.

Two things were in my favor, though. I had three days until I had to go home and confront them, and my parents said that I could return to college and not go to class IF I could justify my reasons for boycotting (skipping) class.

Well, I read every leaflet and went to every rally and march over the next three days. By the time I got home, I was as informed as any of my peers, and, even better, convincing enough to my parents that they let me return to college and be a boycotter for the rest of the spring term.

Why was that a milestone for me? A couple of reasons. It was the first time I started taking activism seriously. But, more importantly, holding my own under the scrutiny of my parents' skepticism, felt like a major step towards adulthood.

I invite you to think back to your own milestones and relish their significance. In the meantime, have a look at what my photographers came up with as visual expressions of milestones. BTW, Robin Moyer has two images. Both are from the pro-democracy demonstrations happening right now in Hong Kong. Only the future will tell how much of a historical milestone these demonstrations are! 

(c ) Robin Moyer (based in Hong Kong)

(c)Robin Moyer (based in Hong Kong)

(c)  Amos Chan  (based in NYC)

(c) Jeff Corwin (based in Seattle)

(c) Bill Gallery (based in New England)

(c) Rosanne Olson (based in Seattle)

(c) Neal Wilson  (based in the UK)

(c) Jon Love (based in Sydney, Australia)
To see all the above photos in a larger format, click here .

Here's to great future milestones for you and your company!
Stay tuned for next month's word: MEASUREMENT

All my best,