• Joe Danis

So where do we go from here?



Two weeks after the launch of unum, I have been left with a sense of love, of warmth, of making a difference, and yes, even a sense of validation. While I try to not to focus too much on external validation, I can’t deny how powerful it can be to know you’ve brought people to tears, helped people reflect on their own journey, or maybe even connected someone with their own cause or purpose. I have to admit, it feels really good. And, the more I focus on the process and less on the outcome, the more the concept flourishes.


However, there have been a few who have reached out wanting to know more or who are confused as to what this thing called “unum” is all about. First off, as mentioned before, it really started as an expression of myself and what I’ve spent a lifetime doing, or at least trying to do. But it’s so much more than that. Connecting people with purpose and then exercising that sense of purpose is the true foundation for unum. unum is a movement… and while I wish it was for everyone, I understand some will not resonate with these concepts. And, that’s OK. We are all at different stages of our journey and at different capacities for reflection and change. I’m totally cool with that.


So, for those of you who do want to know more, hang in there, because this movement is just getting started.

The question I’ve been receiving a lot is how can I get involved and what can I do to be a part of this. Let me first say that you are already “doing” something just by reading these words. Paulo Freire once said “critical reflection is action.” It really starts with finding something you resonate with that stimulates some form of thought that translates into action.

A great example of this are the seven people who have joined me on this journey of sharing our light with each other and the world. You may have noticed their photos and short bio on our web site. Each of these amazing people are unique and beautiful and have come together to share their light with each of you. We simply started a dialogue several months ago as to what this concept could be, and it’s this dialogue that stimulated reflection and action. Check out the blog to connect with each of them and find out more about their story at unum1.ca/blog


One such individual is someone I’ve known for almost a decade now, Alfredo Ramos, from San Salvador, El Salvador. Freddy is one of those special individuals who, simply put, is a survivor. El Salvador is one of those magical places on the planet where the juxtaposition of beauty and violence hit you the moment you step off the plane. I always tell people, my mind is Canadian, my soul is Tico, but my heart is Salvadoran. You can truly feel the scars that have been left as a result of a bloody civil war and the subsequent years of gang violence that grip the country to this day. A country with one of the highest murder rates in the world. Yet a place that is breathtakingly beautiful made all the more special by some of the most warm and loving people you could ever encounter. Having lived through this his entire life, Freddy has certainly felt a spectrum of emotions few of us will ever imagine in our lifetimes. He’s had his personal struggles, lived through some situations that would leave you and I destitute and without hope, and yet he still manages to find some light in the world around him. He’s been up and he’s been down. But he’s never been out… He truly exemplifies what the unum society is all about. Finding your light and letting it shine.


So, if you want an example of what you can do to be part of our movement, I’ll share with you a message I received from Freddy the other day…


I am struggling in my own life these days with the fact that I want to be transformational, creative and intentional as I show my love to people around me. Yesterday I ended up with some PB & J and some jam & cheese sandwiches, a few apples and some cookies somewhere in the city, I went and gave them to the security guards that stand around with their shotguns all day long… What really impressed me was to see the surprise and amazement in their eyes man! A lot of people in our society really live their lives NOT expecting anything good to happen to them, because their hearts are hardened by indifference and selfishness.

As individuals, we can really impact our world one person at the time with small acts of kindness. I thought to myself… “Wow, what if I intentionally and randomly start giving sandwiches away around to people in need, like those guards, would I make the difference? Would I make someone’s day? Would that show love and care to some one in need of love and care? Definitely YES! So, why not do something simple and kind for someone today. Making someone smile and feel love can be a powerful thing.

Freddy Ramos


If Freddy can shine some light on his community, his world, I think we can all find our own unique way to do the same. Moving forward, we will be launching several initiatives that can help you find your way and give you an outlet to join our movement. Maybe you have an idea to share or a cause you’d like to promote. That’s what the unum society is about. It’s open, it’s fluid, it’s free flowing… but it’s all about creating positive change. Change that comes from within. Sharing ideas and supporting each other in our quest to live of life of meaning and purpose while contributing to the health and well being of a person, a cause, or a community. unum… one cause. one community.


Joe Danis

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