All movements are a sign of the times, but this movement takes signs more literally than you might expect.
Kevin Alan Lamb and founder Eric Dennis, as well as dozens of close team members, show up to events across Detroit brandishing yellow diamonds, large and small, that read: THIS IS A GOOD SIGN. And what started as a desire to strengthen communities has morphed into a worldwide, viral wave of positivity.
Inspiration… Can an organization exist solely for its purpose?
They aren’t religious, unless your religion is goodness. And there’s absolutely no hidden agenda. In today’s world of irony and cynicism, that might be hard to believe, but it’s true.
When I first met Kevin (often known in our city as 6’7” Kevin) at a Cold War Kids/ Lumineers concert in June of 2013, my fascination with his mirth and generosity led me to seek him out and find his purpose while we danced on the lawn at the DTE Energy Theater.
What I discovered was a happy and centered human being who loves spreading optimism and what is right with humanity.
Furthermore, I can assure you: he was neither drunk, nor high.
Instead, Kevin proved an affable and intelligent person with a background in education, communication, and philosophy, with a willingness to put his studies into action. Clear-eyed (Seriously..!) and poignant, he told me how committed he was to spreading good-feeling, unattached to any other thesis. People doing good, then spreading such emotional wealth to others, in order to combat the world’s darkness: that is the cause of the Signers.
The result? 100,000 THIS IS A GOOD SIGNs out in the world, and counting.
People have tattooed themselves with their symbol. Cancer-survivors have posted the yellow diamond in order to inspire their fight. First-time visitors to our country have met the GOOD SIGNs crew and established a view of America based on the experience.
(If none of those cause your heart to skip a beat, I question your biology.)
In the last few years, they’ve been everywhere from South by Southwest to the Electronic Forest Festival to Mo Pop, spreading their message.
Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons spotted a GOOD SIGN and requested it for his bedroom wall. Scott Avett of the Avett Brothers took a GOOD SIGN on stage, then raised it over his head while performing. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros related GOOD SIGNS to their hit song “Home”. And to top that list, the Prime Minister of Parliament Funkadelic, George Clinton actually carries a GOOD SIGN in his suitcase, when he travels.
A GOOD SIGN sighting might be fun, like one showing up at the Navy vs. Notre Dame football game in Ireland, or another beside lions in Zimbabwe. Conversely, it might be as important as one appearing in Haiti following that nation’s devastating earthquake, or at an AA meeting, or one held by a soldier in Iraq.
As Kevin states, “Some years ago it occurred to us that we discovered one of the most valuable, sought after, and simple solutions to most of this world’s problems and have made it our mission to ensure it is shared by whatever means we are able.
“Helping people is logical; the virality of our movement offers substantial empirical data that our world is fractured and ready for a change. I hear about positivity more and more… A few years back people thought it was some type of hippie, black magic myth.
“I believe we are given gifts for a reason, and that reason is each other. With the increased happiness of a single individual, the world becomes a happier and better place to live in. Resources, technology, and goodness are too abundant for this world to hurt the way that it does and we decided to do something about it. It’s rarely been easy, never certain, and always worth it.
“I remind myself of that to ensure I pay my gratitude forward, especially when it’s hard; when life gets heavy, and it does.”
The GOOD SIGNs crew will soon publish a bi-monthly newsletter. As Kevin states, the “content reminds people that there is good in the world. It reveals the rapid frequency by which ordinary humans act extraordinarily for the well-being of others.
“It will help people realize that only they can decide which mass-media messages they choose to focus their attention on and absorb. Life is hard enough without being filled by fear from daily news reports that you have no ability to change. We are asking individuals and the masses to turn their attention to stories of people who will inspire them into benevolent action, and faith in humanity.
“People like Colin McConnell, Dane and Tyler Wittig who rode their bicycles 1,600 miles from Detroit to Austin and raised $50,000 for three boys with failing hearts. Or people like Konrad Wert, who performs music as Possessed By Paul James, but is also a Texas special education Teacher of the Year.”
If the crew at THIS IS AS GOOD SIGN can make a living of this, they will. None of them has received a paycheck, nor are they likely to soon. Like so many other community activists, they aren’t in it for the money.
However, they continue to pour hundreds of hours into their cause, with which few (if any) could find fault.
Let’s try to make the world happier, and tell some stories of how awesome humans can be… It may not sell clicks in the media, but that mantra is encouraging people to better the world around them.
In short, the yellow diamond that reads THIS IS A GOOD SIGN is a sign of construction.
For Kevin and Eric and their crew, the hope is that humanity can re-construct itself into something that latches onto the good and replicates it exponentially.
Can a virus infect positivity?
If you haven’t yet seen a “GOOD SIGN” in your community, we are betting soon you will. For further information on this group, check out http://thisisagoodsign.com