TED is a favorite free website where I find content that moves me, causes me to think and marvel at the accomplishments some of the speakers. TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to “ideas worth spreading”. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. The two annual TED conferences, in Long Beach/Palm Springs and Edinburgh, Scotland, bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes or less). The main conferences are augmented today by a number of smaller conferences around the world that the organization holds.
After not being there for over a month, last week I visited TED.com and found two new short videos (around 5 min) that touched my emotional core. One was how something Hannah Brechner did on a lark turned into a life changing endeavor (for her and others). She always loved that her family communicated via handwritten letters. In October of 2010, Hannah began writing love letters intended for strangers and tucking them away in libraries and cafes across New York City, for people to randomly discover. Soon, she offered on her blog HannahKaty.com to write a letter to anyone who needed one. Over the next year, she mailed out more than 400 hand-penned letters.
Today she runs http://www.moreloveletters.com/, a letter exchange dedicated to connecting strangers across the globe through the art of letter writing.
CLick here for Hannah’s story: http://www.ted.com/talks/hannah_brencher_love_letters_to_strangers.html
And then there’s TED Fellow and artist Candy Chang. In her New Orleans neighborhood she turned an abandoned house into a giant chalkboard asking a fill-in-the-blank question: “Before I die I want to ___.” Her neighbors’ answers, surprising, poignant and funny became an unexpected mirror for the community. (What’s your answer?)
Find Candy Changs story here: http://www.ted.com/talks/candy_chang_before_i_die_i_want_to.html
Just two ordinary people who started in small way to make a small difference who instead ended up changing lives every day. I am thankful for the humble feeling of gratitude I feel for such people who change the world a drop at a time and the inspiration they give me.
Never be afraid to do something new. Remember,
amateurs built the ark;
professionals built the titanic.