Friday, February 3, 2012


Just submitted by application to attend the TEDxEast event in May'12. (They're not playing are they?)

Here's the link to their page...

And here are my answers to their questions, although, if you decide to apply, its probably best to write you own...

Tell us about yourself- something we might not ask- but you think we should know.

At the end of 2011 I reached the “spiritual end” of my then current 10-year plan, scoring a cool 65%. I say “spiritual” because the actual or chronological end does not take place until June’12. However, it was clear that the plan had finished and it was time to come up with some fresh thinking. My new project is a 25-year plan that explores and sets direction for how I want to shape my life over the next quarter of a century. I have started a blog to capture the ideas and initiatives emanating from this endeavor. About half of the blog is dedicated to writing about the theoretical constructs that I use to think about intentional living (so that others can set goals and push themselves to have the biggest lives possible.) The other half is about my personal process: my values & goals, dreams & aspirations, as I attempt to become the CEO of my own life.

Tell us of an experience you have had in which your perspective was challenged by another, unexpected perspective.

What happens when one’s grand vision for the future, the best that one can bring, pushes up against the paralysis and discouragement caused by racism? As a white guy in a long-term relationship with a person of color, I have started to realize that many of the skills that I have, the ability to think and communicate Big Ideas, for example, have been afforded to me by the fact that I have not been slammed by racism. Its not that my ideas are wrong, or that I should not have them, or that they are not “worth spreading.” Rather, I am beginning to realize that there is no “truth” separate from the relationships that we are in, or the audience to whom we are communicating.  And while the content of my ideas is not discouraging (what could be wrong with eliminating racism, sexism and gay oppression?), I have come to see that sometimes, the very fact that I have ideas at all, that they seem to come to me so quickly and easily, that I am willing to share them with unabashed enthusiasm, could cause someone who was not as encouraged to explore their mind and express their thoughts to feel “crowded out.” So. What do we do? I don't know. But I am guessing that moving forward, we listen more than we speak; that we notice that we can afford to slow down a bit; that we let others take the lead and joyfully follow (and that we don't judge them too harshly if and when they struggle.)

What do you hope to experience as a member of the TEDxEast community?

One of the things I have appreciated most about the TED “movement” is its commitment to the sharing of ideas that inspire. At the TED event that I was fortunate enough to attend as an audience member, or when watching the TED videos online, I often been moved by the seemingly infinite number of ways that individuals manifest their creative intelligence. However, even more important than creativity is the hope that is embodied by this group of “smart but basically normal folks” who have stepped outside their discouragement, people with lives at least as challenging as mine, if not more so, to reflect back to the world a picture of its potential. I would like to continue to observe these reflections and, perhaps, one day, to share my own.

From the Zone...


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