I am often asked, why do you do TEDx? What is in it for you? This non-profit event does not provide financial gain and I can’t even upload my own speech to the TEDx Youtube playlist for this Riverton event. So did I get the short end of the stick?
In a world of deep divide, whether you are talking politics, race, religion, culture, the #metoo movement, #timesup, #dosomething, or the countless others – I believe we are all missing a great point – we are all human beings that put our pants on one leg at a time. You see, anyone of us here could start a movement, but not one story is better or more important than another’s. What separates us, is the slight edge, and the small steps we take each day to move forward.
We are all human beings. You have a story and You are important. As citizens of the globe we have responsibility to do better, to do more. We can talk about things, ideas, and differences, but the question remains- what are we doing about it?
Social media and gaming, access to information, healthcare, environment, politics, and more all have their positives and negatives. As humanity we can continue to rant or rave, or we can become educated, agree to disagree, and ultimately find common ground. How can we judge or know our point of view is the only right one, if we never analytically consider another’s?
A majority of people desire instant gratification. Change does not come about as fast as a Big Mac order through the McDonald’s drive through. Change takes effort, it takes consistency. Blame or pointing fingers will not bring change. Change takes people like you to be inspired, to stand up, to lead. TEDx brings like minded people together who aspire for more. Is it vulnerable, hell yes. Is it easy, no? But if it were easy, everyone would do something.
Leaders lead. Leaders eat last. Leaders don’t do things for personal or financial gain. Leaders take charge and do what it is right. Leaders leave legacy. Does everyone love the leader? No. Is there criticism, of course. There will always be criticism, lead anyway. Each one of you here have leadership qualities, or you would not be here.
Do I have a story to tell? Absolutely, and it will be told in a very personal book late this summer. I believe in order to create change, we must first unmask the roots of the problem.
Education is a vital component in moving forward as stronger citizens, leaders, and change makers. 2 weeks ago walking through the oldest village in Africa, high in the Atlas Mountains, I was educated even without having access to Google. The people of this Moroccan community value where they live, taking pride in their dirt floors and local produce cooked over earth fire. Many would say they have poor quality of life, but are they the ones doing something right – living to be over 100 years old? Discovering things outside of our “normal” is what expands our horizons. The TED and TEDx platform is a source of information to tap into wherever anyone is located in the world, helping to bridge gaps between the human race.
What I love about TED and TEDx is the fact that it makes the uncomfortable, comfortable. Ideas worth spreading that blow the walls out of boxes or open your eyes to see things in a different light. It’s not about agreeing, it’s about exploring and learning something different, and saying wow – I never thought about that.
Today, you will hear from a variety of speakers on many topics. There may be a chance you don’t agree with what they have to say, and you may hear something that gives you the inspiration you have been looking for. I ask you to open your mind, open your heart, and let yourself be open to differences. I challenge you to listen. To expand. To break down a barrier. I promise if you do, you will gain something not anticipated from this day.
So why did I put on TEDxRiverton? To challenge the status quo, to give back to the community where I live, and to lead growth. Today is about positive leadership, education, and spreading ideas that can lead to a happier, healthier environment and lifestyle.
Each one of our speakers have done some hard work. I believe they would all agree the ups and downs were worth it. Today lets aspire to be inspired.
Welcome to TEDxRiverton – where “Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do.” It all starts with putting your pants on, one leg at a time.
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