Stop. Just for a moment, please, stop. Look around. Look again. And ask yourself two questions: 1) What am I doing today to make the world a better place? And 2) What will I do tomorrow to make the world a better place?
Those two questions are precisely what inspired the “I Will” wall in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami, Florida.
In addition to inspiring positive acts amongst and within the community, Rabbis Getzy Fellig and Eli Muchnik hope that the 25-foot wall demonstrates that, despite the amount of negativity the world is exposed to daily, hope remains, and in spades. What they didn’t expect was the activity the wall would receive in the hours and days following its erection.
The wall, situated outside of Bet Ovadia synagogue — near Coconut Grove’s Main Highway and facing the most popular jogging path — has drawn responses from people of all ages, and at all times of the day, some of which have gone so far as to drive past the wall, stop, turn around, get out, and write.
What have people been writing? Here are just a few examples…
– I Will Enjoy the Day
– I Will Stop Drinking
– I Will Smell Like Roses
…And a few more…
– I Will Be Kind
– I Will Learn a New Language
– I Will Not Give Up
Within two days, the wall was covered in chalk, resulting in three more pieces of plywood needing to be added. And what will happen to the wall in the coming days, weeks, and months? Will it be removed? Will people stop writing? While at this time the future of the wall is unclear, 14-year-old Benjamin Freeman, one of Fellig’s students, may have said it best. Of the wall, he said:
“It seems like everyone is trying to be a better person.”
*All photographs included in this post are courtesy of Patrick Farrell and The Miami Herald.
What would you write on the wall?