This is Personal: The Making of Communication for Positive Change

Lake Victoria@ Rusinga Island-Kenya

They say everyone has a story …

Communication for Positive Change embodies a new vision. For you to better understand how I arrived at where I am today, this is part of my story.

The recipe that is Communication for Positive Change is made up of:

  • Flexibility: Nine cities and counting … I’ve relocated my family, career and business many times and the constant change has taught me to adjust and adapt; and to embrace new people, ideas, cultures and surroundings. I’ve also learned to “go with the flow”.
  • Gratefulness: Spending two years in Nairobi, Kenya had a profound impact on me. I am grateful every day for my health; the roof over my head and food in my belly; and for the opportunities I’ve had to learn and grow. I feel privileged to be a Canadian citizen.
  • Travelling has made me realize we all are a product of our upbringing and the result of our circumstances, and far too many people in this world are the victims of their very unfortunate circumstances.
    • Here’s a post from the personal blog I kept while in Africa. It is dated 28 November 2011. It was called: Willing to risk their lives.
    • “The accident left over 75 people dead. The East African newspaper explained the root cause this way: ‘A fatal combination of poverty and ignorance makes our people particularly vulnerable to disasters.’ — Uganda’s minister of state for disaster preparedness. (19-25 September 2011) While those words were spoken by a Ugandan minister, they could easily have come from another minister of state for any number of African countries. On 12 September 2011, a gas pipeline leak occurred in Nairobi east bordering on a slum. Instead of steering clear of the flowing liquid, passersby tried to collect the leaking gas with the hopes of selling it or using it to fuel a stove for heat. Some reports said that someone nearby may have been smoking. Explosion or fire, the final result was the same – senseless loss of life – 75 lives, in fact. If dental records did exist, then positive identification of some of the remains could be made and victims could receive a decent burial. But for those living in a slum, visits to a dentist are not part of everyday life. Basic survival is – and for those living in slums, they are willing to risk their lives to make that happen.”
  • Positivity: I try to remain positive–no matter the circumstances. And, I share that positivity with the people I come in contact with. I’ve had the pleasure to hear Karen Reivich present a keynote on her book The Resilience Factor (I recommend you read it); a book that details the seven keys to finding your inner strength and overcoming life’s hurdles. As she explains, “It’s not what happens to us but how we respond to what happens to us that has the greatest effect on the trajectory of our lives.”
  • Deep Dive into Personality: I’ve done many personality tests and profiling exercises over my career, so I’m aware of what makes me tick. Communication for Positive Change is the result of combining my skills and experience with my personal beliefs. It was formulated using the system.

With this baseline, my goal is to share my knowledge and my experience working with business as an employee and consultant. We’ll follow topics like: conscious capitalism, social consciousness, social enterprise, social entrepreneurs, brand, marketing, communication, corporate culture, employee engagement and graphic design.

My love for East Africa, particularly Kenya, remains. Its people, culture, geography, flora and fauna (not to mention the weather) had a profound effect on me. The experience left a permanent mark. My goal is to one day return to East Africa; but for now, I can’t say when that will be or in what capacity. I have some big goals in mind.

As the famous 16th president of the United States once said:

“I walk slowly but I never walk backward.” —Abraham Lincoln

Thank you for reading my story and for joining me on this journey. Please comment or reach out to me; I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Good luck!

The photo of the setting sun is from our personal archive and was taken in January, 2012 at Rusinga Island, Kenya, one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

K. Barker

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