Ordinary is not what we are. It is merely what we choose to believe we are.
– David Icke
The picture at the top of this post features my newest friend from the internet (and all round awesome dude) Ronny Edry and his little daughter.
By all appearances, Ronny seems an ordinary guy: a graphic designer by profession, Ronny is also a husband and father. Yet, there is nothing ordinary about Ronny. He is responsible for what has become a world wide movement for peace in the Middle East – a phenomenon that has brought together over a hundred thousand people, many of whom are considered to be ‘enemies’. And it was all because of one simple act.
Ronny is from Israel. He became concerned at the ever present and ever growing prospect of a war between Israel and Iran. Like most people, Ronny didn’t want a war. An ex-paratrooper with the Israeli Defence Forces, he understood very well what war would mean. He wanted to do something to promote peace. But unlike most people in similar situations, Ronny acted.
Ronny did what he could. He did what he knew how to do. He knew how to craft visual messages, so he took a picture of himself with his little daughter and added his own personal message to the people of Iran. The result was the above poster.
Ronny published his poster on his Facebook timeline, just before he went to bed one night. When he next checked into his Facebook account, Ronny was amazed to see how much his message had touched others. People had not only ‘liked’, shared and commented on it, but they had begun making their own pictures and posting them on Facebook as well. Ronny started to receive messages from Iranian people who shared his desire for peace. They were reaching out to him and sharing their own posters. Ronny learned that thousands of people agreed with his message and now wanted his help to make similar posters with their pictures in them. He was being flooded by requests and so recruited his family and friends to help.
Pretty soon, people all over the world, including scores of Israelis and Iranians living abroad, were posting and sharing similar pictures in support of peace. People from across the so-called divide began travelling to meet in person and make posters together – proving that there was in fact no ‘divide’.
Thousands of ‘ordinary’ people were coming forward to share their message and to stand up and be counted. It wasn’t just the Israelis and Iranians anymore. People of other nationalities began making their own posters in support of peace between these two countries. A worldwide phenomenon and peace movement was born.
You can see the images people posted by visiting the Israel Loves Iran Facebook Page (a page that has received over 113,500 likes to date).
You can hear the amazing story in Ronny’s own words by watching his TED Talk (below).
Things progressed to the point where Ronny and his wife Michal set up an official non-political organisation called ‘The Peace Factory’. Their vision is to serve as ‘A bridge of communication between people in the middle east’ – a vision that has already materialised by a large measure. You can learn more about the organisation by visiting their website here: www.thepeacefactory.org
It was just one guy… just one simple act. He cared. He did something about it. It was something small and simple, yet look at what happened.
If I have learned anything from Ronny’s story it is this: There are no ordinary people!
What if we all followed Ronny’s example?
What if we all took just one small step beyond wishing and hoping?
What if we all did something small towards making the world a better place?
What kind of a world would we be creating then?
Are you willing to try?
What have you got to lose?
You have the power. You can change the world.
What will you do now?