Are you familiar with the legend of the Phoenix? It's been around for centuries and it shows up in numerous ancient civilizations including the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Chinese. There are a few variations, but the basic idea is this: The Phoenix is a supernatural creature, living for 500 to 1000 years. Once that time is over, it builds its own funeral pyre, and throws itself into the flames. As it dies, it is reborn anew, and rises from the ashes to live another 1000 years. Alternatively, it lays an egg in the burning coals of the fire which hatches into a new Phoenix, and the life cycle repeats. Why is phoenix lore so enduring? I think it's because it's a very powerful tale of renewal and rebirth - it ultimately is a tale of hope.
It is upon this tale of hope that we chose to create the annual Rising Phoenix Awards program, and I'm very excited that we'll be launching the 2015 campaign in the next few weeks. Across Southeast Michigan there are countless examples of people that have endured the harshest of times and arose from the ashes to do really awesome things to help others in their communities! With this program we recognize those people and celebrate their impact on our world. You can get more info about the program by clicking here, and in the next couple of weeks you'll also be able to nominate candidates for 2015 awards here too. During times of transition we can all be Rising Phoenixes. Congratulations again to those nominated in 2013 and 2014, and I can't wait to see who shows up in 2015!
We're holding a contest for the best nickname for Rising Phoenix community members and I'm really excited to hear your ideas! Community members are anyone that participates in or supports the program in any way - from following us on twitter to nominating someone to being a nominee, to being a judge, to sponsoring the program. Please get creative and submit your ideas here between now and November 27th. We're going to give Rising Phoenix coffee mugs with our brand new logo for the top twelve name suggestions, and we'll announce the final name from those on January 24th at the annual awards ceremony and banquet. The first suggestion came in yesterday - it was "change agents". I like it!
ps - Heather Shumaker wrote a good piece describing the legend of the Phoenix in more detail - you may enjoy it by clicking here.