Let’s have fun with The American Twins: Caption the photo

I snapped this photo of an exhibit wall while at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History a couple of weeks ago (luckily, we were there before the “snowpocalypse” that has descended on our nation’s capitol):

Seeing it, I immediately smiled to myself and put on my business blogger hat, thinking, “Oh my, this has got to be destined for a blog post one day.”

I have not written much about it, but those who know me well, are aware that I can be very vocal about how unions are in dire need of reinvention for our times, serving their members as they purport to do — as is business; capitalism needs a better reinvention, service mission, and reputation too.

Got the photo up on Flickr for safe-keeping, and thought to myself, why wait? Beyond that, why should I have all the fun?

Le‘ale‘a is the Hawaiian value of playfulness

So in that spirit of fun, ever mindful of our Aloha, yet also to provoke our thoughtfulness about what this “real union” has the huge potential be…

What caption would you pen for this photo?

Alternately, what self-coaching (or workplace initiative) might it challenge you with in your own circle of influence?

Tried to get rid of that camera flash in editing (left side of the Capital visage, his right) but I can’t help thinking it’s a blind spot for him too… supposed to be there, telling me something… I am not absolutely sure of this, saw so much in that museum that morning! but I think this was on the entry wall to the exhibit in 2 West for Communities in a Changing Nation, and boy, are we changing…


My full photo set for the Kenneth E. Behring Center at the Smithsonian, our National Museum of American History, can be seen here: Click to Flickr. When they invited me to submit my photos I discovered the museum has its own Flickr Group too, and this is a photo of the very popular Julia Child’s kitchen which is MUCH better than those I was able to get: Photo by dmalantic. The National Museum of American History is definitely the place to be if you want to invigorate the pride and patriotism you feel as an American, or if you want a better understanding of how our history has affected us in the way it has.

In the past week I have discovered the museum website is outstanding: It has really helped me identify a few photos I took rather impulsively without knowing more about what I was looking at in photo moments I was more interested in composition, and I already want to go back! They have a blog which seems to be updated regularly too: O Say Can You See?


  1. Rosa Say says

    I am thinking back to our Aloha-inspired theme this morning as I have my coffee, February’s Strengthening. We know it as Love, reviewing it while I think about these “American Twins” and how each can be strengthened when they are revitalized with what we learn from Aloha… so perhaps that could be a caption?

    The “real union” can indeed happen, when we live, work, manage, and lead with Aloha.

    Good way to start, is to speak with aloha…

  2. says

    I share your feeling that there is a tremendous need for a reinvention of labor and capital. Neither takes into account the significant social costs their decisions make on others and their fight over the pie shrinks the pie. Teachers unions most upset me, as our kids get caught in the cross fire. What we need are collaborative approaches built on a higher, shared goal with each side knowing that neither has the entire answer and each side suspending assumptions about the other. I hate when my really liberal friends who work for government criticize business. I wish they better understood that their pay checks are coming from business and worked to create win-wins.
    Best, Kay
    .-= Kay ´s last blog ..Toyota’s Once Unbeatable Business Model Now Anything But =-.

    • Rosa Say says

      Aloha Kay, welcome to Talking Story; thank you so much for clicking over as we met today within your Toyota commentary. Sounds like we share more common views, for I have been rather vocal about our woes in education, a field (industry, discipline?) where your “business model innovation” coaching is desperately needed as well.

      We know that business isn’t perfect, but no one is, and the collaboration you speak of helps all of us. You’re right; seeking to understand, and better partnering, IS a win-win.

      So thrilled to meet you Kay, and eager to learn more from you.