Found in Translation: The Right to Be Yourself

Hearing Spanish in my left ear and the English translation in my right ear, the cross talk was confusing. Have you ever had a mismatch between what you’re hearing and what you’re hearing? It was my first experience using U.N. style earphones with a live translator and I was sitting so close to the people speaking that for the first few minutes there was a disconnect between my ears. Then, suddenly my brain synchronized and everything made sense.

Isn’t art also about getting ideas to synchronize? Through art we can express ideas that often cannot be said with words. When we couple our creative efforts with ideas we can clarify and amply essential messages. Whether visual arts, music or pottery, when our creations are synced with messages, then our ideas can carry beyond the borders of a canvas or the walls of a concert hall, and they can carry more water than any pot. Of course art can stand alone, but when coupled with essential ideas that must be spread, then art becomes a media that adds clarity and increase a messages impact.

I had the honor of producing the “Freedom Kite” painting that is being used by the Pan American Health Organization
to promote and protect health and human rights for Human Rights Day today and beyond.

In the experience I had the opportunity to learn about the essential work being done so passionately by the people at PAHO and by other world leaders who actively use their creativity to protect and promote human rights in their daily job, making the world a better place for all of us. The challenge for all of us is to help people like these by using our strength and our abilities.

In my speech at PAHO, I said: “when we do something we love we often succeed, but we also need the freedom to be ourselves and the freedom to be ourselves is a basic human right.” Creating is all about being yourself too. We are influenced by others but our greatness does not come from copying or fitting in but by being ourselves. What do you think?



  1. That is so fantastic! Perhaps you can have more translator in places that you wanted to go. However, it is so hard to hear it at the same time, right?

  2. If we weren’t able to be ourselves, there would be no creativity as there would be no diversity. The kite is beautiful! How exciting to see it being used. Congratulations on being picked for that project.
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  3. You are right Melinda! And i also love what you have said “there would be no creativity as there would be no diversity”. It is so true!

  4. Bettina143 says:

    Hi David, I love what you have said about Human Rights! Thanks for sharing this. Happy New Year..

  5. I think these post is trying to show that in-spite of our differences in the matter of color, culture, and nationality there’s no special treatment and everyone has a fare insight. Beautiful.

  6. We copy everyone when we are children. When we start being ourselves, is when we grow up and own that courage to do so.

    Congratulation on the flag, David.

    My apologies for not visiting your blog for a while.
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