I spent a good part of my life as a photographer for National Geographic. For 20 years they sent me around the globe and every time they did, they would ask me to Celebrate What's Right with the World.
I did and it changed my life.
Over the years I’ve shared this simple yet powerful philosophy with hundreds of different audiences. I’ve shared it in the Basic Jones column I’ve written for Outdoor Photographer for more than 25 years, as well as in a number of short inspirational films. Looking at our world through a more positive lens is a vision that guides my life every day. I continue to be humbled that it resonates with so many folks from around the world who have whole-heartedly embraced the idea!
Every day I see images that make me want to celebrate. I don’t want to keep them to myself, but rather to share them with as many people as possible. In 2012, I gave myself the challenge of finding and photographing something to celebrate every day, and then share those photos on Facebook. The response has been nothing short of incredible, but nothing compared to what happened in 2013 when my team and I invited the rest of the world to post their own photos of celebration. Since then, more than 100,000 images have been posted by fellow Celebrators who, together, have become the Celebrate Community.
One of the best parts of the Celebrate movement is how often my team and I hear from other Celebrators that this idea has changed the way they look at their own world, and has inspired them to fall in love with their lives all over again.
In early January 2018, I brought the Celebrate message to the TEDx stage, and again have been over-joyed with the response from viewers. I know it’s easy to feel discouraged by what’s happening in the world today; but this is all the more reason the find things to celebrate. This is why my team and I have developed an e-course called, “The Habit of Celebration” to help us strengthen our ability to see the world in ways that fill us with joy, gratitude, and energy.
Will this message and all of these images, from Celebrators and myself, change the world? I hope so. But here’s what I do know - they’ve changed me. And they’re changing a lot of others.
Can you imagine a world in which every person, every day, celebrated what was right? I can. It would be incredible.