Hidden Heroes — Hero #2 (Mark Johnson)

If you missed the INTRODUCTION to our Hidden Heroes series, you can read it by clicking here. Otherwise, continue below to read about Hero #2…

They say that people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that end up doing it.

They also say it takes 10 years to make an overnight success.

Both are true for this week’s hidden hero, Grammy Award Winning Producer / Engineer and Award Winning Film Director Mark Johnson, and his Playing For Change movement.

Mark first got the idea to inspire people to come together as a human race by uniting musicians across continents in 1999…

Like all great ideas, it came in a seemingly random moment… as he walked through the New York subway during morning rush hour and saw two monks, painted white from head to toe, playing a guitar and singing a foreign language while 200 commuters stopped to watch — people from all different cultures and backgrounds, who were suddenly no longer consumed with getting to work on time.

Wow… what an a-ha moment!

Suddenly he realized that music was the bridge that could unite all people.

He also realized that it was his calling to go out and find as many inspiring musical moments as possible.

= = = = =

After sharing his idea with the right combination of people, Playing For Change (a play on words that brings to mind both street buskers and the musical ability to effect change) was born — a multi-media movement to inspire, connect and bring peace to the world through music — and travel around the world began.

They set off with the  idea that an open mind and positive intentions would allow them to find ways of uniting people as the human race… and since music is the Universal language that knows no boundaries, that idea traveled with them from California and a post-Katrina New Orleans to Europe, Asia, and Africa; through streets, subways, native Indian reservations, African villages, the Himalayan mountains, and more.

The musicians involved never met in person, but were brought together by the music, and the belief that we can do a lot more for the world working together than we can apart.

They created a documentary, Playing For Change: Peace Through Music, and several “Songs Around The World”, as well as the Playing For Change Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to connecting the world by building music and art schools equipped with cameras and recording studios in communities around the world.

Mark Johnson and his team can certainly take credit for helping to build a global village, as prophesied by Marshall McLuhan, and taking it to new levels.

Now, after circulating through friends’ inboxes and being featured on mainstream media, their first “Song Around The World”, the John Lennon version of Stand By Me, has received 9 1/2 million views on YouTube alone (and the video is available for viewing in numerous other places).

If you haven’t seen it yet, turn up your speakers and watch it here:

* For a higher-quality, full-screen version, click here *

Your Partners in the Quest For
Living a Life Without Limits,

Barry and Heather

(( Life Design Consultants,
Agents of Higher Learning &
Catalysts For Change ))

Filed under: Hidden Heroes

10 Responses to “Hidden Heroes — Hero #2 (Mark Johnson)”

  1. I love this video! …’gives me goosebumps every time!
    Music does indeed unite hearts because it originates from the heart. It is the many reflections of our human Spirit – timeless, infinite, cohesive, and filled with beauty, Grace and wisdom.

    It seems that the human race longs for MacLuhan’s global village – aka—>(re-)connection – and there couldn’t be a better time than now. I applaud Mark’s work.

    Thanks for sharing the inspiration, Heather & Barry!
    : )

  2. what a fantastic and inspirational idea!!!
    i am buying the cd/dvd

  3. Seeing this video and going to the website to learn more about the project has changed my world. I totally agree that music is the universal language that reverberates in the soul and creates a vibration that we all can feel. I am going to follow Mark’s journey and contribute to the continuation of how he is changing the world.

  4. Brilliant. Touched my heart. It seemed to open a doorway to look at my life and see how complicated I’ve made it and does’t touch my heart. None of it really matters, only the love matters. Thank you so much for sharing this with me.

  5. I think the video was fantastic!…..Just loved the way it was set up. It gave so much meaning to the song and to life!… Definitely a step in the right direction to change the world and show that it really is all about love.
    Way to go Mark….I’ll keep trying to follow in your footsteps.

  6. That’s was beautifull, I really can see how the people all over the world can unit with music. Iam adding this to my favorites on youtube 😉

  7. Heather and Barry,
    Thanks for sharing. To leave the world a better place for having been here is all we should desire. Mark is an inspiration! He is what we (at The DogHouse) call an Earth Angel. Incredible.
    Much Love to you both!
    Goldie Barrett

  8. fantastic eye opener, this realy hit home and i am a music lover. thank for sending this to me. keep me informed please. love from within!!!

  9. I can scarcely find the words to describe the emotions I feel each and every time I watch this video. All I can say with any certainty is that as the tears fill my eyes and the love fills my heart, I feel the spirit of God fill the room in which I’m seated. I believe you have shed a ray of light on the truth of how much love God has for His creation in this endeavor, and I want so very much for many more people to experience what you have accomplished in this work. Because of that, I hope you will not mind if I encode this to my web site so that my visitors can be blessed as I have been. Thank you for your commitment to changing the world in the name of Love.

  10. Thanks for this beautiful music for the heart, it really made my day. Continue doing this to unified the World with songs for the heart. God blessings.

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