It was great to see what niche he had made for himself in the world: making a difference, and earning accolades in the process, although it wasn't about pretension - I saw it as a story of triumph through circumstances, which made it inspiring.
"I am in search of soul .... It simply has breath." - Jared Mezzocchi
I was happy to have a chance to chat with his mom after the event; I learned that Mezzocchi and I are both the youngest of our families, by a lot. This interests me, because I believe what position or role we have in our families affects who we are: personality-wise and psychologically, I think it just says a lot about who we are. Click here, to see the multimedia effects at work!
Carol Peppe Hewitt preceded Mezzocchi with a presentation on Slow Money - "What if You Couldn't Scare Me?" By the end of her presentation, I ended up wishing I had a lot of money to throw at the people in my local community that I believed in! We do need to financially support the good things around us, to build a community we want to enjoy, in every good way. It's our lives, and our entire world. We can have a hand in shaping it! Saving landmarks from loan sharks, for example.
The people who are able to fund and make profit without gouging, should (or the terrorists win!). So many need that extra change in their pocket, right now. It's win-win! Made a whole lot of sense.
People say you vote with your dollars. Who do you want to see succeed? She wants to see her community succeed, and encouraged each of us to do the same. You don't see much of that attitude, nowadays. In today's economy, most people make their money decisions based on fear. Peppe Hewitt made a good stand in encouraging us to go on the offensive. If you don't have a lot of extra dough, you can form a group and pool resources (strength in numbers!). Watch her presentation to hear the great examples of how she has helped out her community, so you can, too!
I MUST mention the only program of the day that got a standing ovation:
"I wish I knew how numb victories would feel, when achieved dishonestly. And I wish I knew then, that giving back an Olympic gold medal would feel better than winning it." - Tyler Hamilton, Truth and Transformation
Tyler Hamilton. When he came onstage, I thought I recognized his face, even his name, but I only vaguely knew who he was - a cyclist. When he proceeded to tell his story, it was to me, because I really didn't know it. He started telling us of his slow, steady career and ethics decline. It's amazing to share that, because hopefully it turns on the light for people who are in that situation, wherever they may be - as he said, we're all given those choices; it's easier to say no to something, when you're looking out for it. He wasn't just "telling his story," in reality, he was giving us a great warning.
Further, he set an amazing example! When he ended by saying that he decided to give his gold medal back, my mom was the first on her feet to applaud! :) Made me proud♥. The auditorium thundered. You simply do not see that level of dedication to do what's right, much less is it propagated in our consciences on a daily basis through the media. That's bravery. Also, that's love for humankind, as I see it - he cared and was fair and humble enough to admit he did wrong, took himself down a notch, the next guy in line was able to receive a gold medal, and he shares his story for others to learn from, today. (I wonder how many medals out there would still belong to their original owners, if all the dishonest ones were stripped away, and re-awarded.)
He had started out by saying what kind of environment his parents provided - one of truth. I bet they are extremely proud of him.
"For 14 years, I had thought the truth would ruin me. In the end, the truth SAVED me."
It is so important to support someone once they've failed, recognized it, and have turned around. All of us have been there at some point and also need that help, to reinforce good (instead of the garbage of "compromise" dumped in our brains, every day).
So, I am asking you to 1) GO INTO THE TEDx ARCHIVES TO SEE THIS SEGMENT! It is the most important and highly recommended of TEDxPiscataquaRiver 2014.
Also to 2) leave good responses in the video and on his page, for encouragement and positivity to outbalance the previous impetuous blatherskite speech of the past. That's my petition, to you! Thank you for doing so! :)
It was interesting to hear Woodie Flowers' view on education, today ("Liberal Education for the 21st Century"). He said we don't need to pay teachers to grade papers. On one hand, I initially thought it seemed a bit demeaning, and sounded like he was for machines taking over jobs. On the other hand, it was realistically sound. Why pay someone to grade a multiple choice paper? If you were a teacher, wouldn't it bore you, and seem below your capabilities? That's what Flowers was doing - calling each human being to a higher purpose. He said robots taking over some jobs was inevitable, so we must push ourselves to "do the things that machines cannot yet do" (and that's a tall order, with the way technology is speeding up!). That is admirable.
I want to be like that.
Honestly, it sounds like a perfect world. If none of us had to do routine jobs that cluttered our lives, we could all find our purpose from God, and respond to our calling properly. Given the choice, that's what I would do, anyway! Even I don't understand the full capability of the human brain, but I sure do know that we have significant potential! Give us a heart and soul to go with that, and it really seems nothing can stop us. I admire anyone who seems to have set no limitations on themselves; I wish I could do that. It seems impossible, but I will try harder. Only good can come of that!!
I also agree with him, when he said that the way material is taught needs to change. In essence, we are taught box logic. A box for this over here, a box for that over there - they do not overlap, and only very few things fit in those boxes, (which you should supposedly never ever change). I'm all for that kind of change! The world runs on connections(circularly); it is not linear.
Our "education" system does need some serious work.
Be sure to check out his presentation - it's pretty cool to get schooled on technology as a form of education, from someone who is not 20!
Which brings me to Kathy Gunst - she got inspired to bring health to the kids in her school district, by building a "hoop house" and growing fresh foods and herbs with the kids ("From the Ground Up!"). Not only do I applaud that heartily, in being as healthy of a nut as I can, but also because she went out and actually did it. The healthy habits she taught kids to love will stay with them for the rest of their lives, and that will hopefully be imparted in their children, as well! How exciting! Just listening to her story and how it all came together, is amazing.
Incidentally, she mentioned locally grown food vs. foods that are flown in. Well for one, the food grown in your local area has all the minerals OF your area in the soil that gets absorbed into the plant, and it has just the right balance of everything you need (minus the nasty chemicals that are hopefully not involved, and so long as you are not depleting the ground from over-harvesting).
As put by the emcee, Blair Hundertmark, "more importantly, she got kids to eat greens!" Thumbs up, Kathy Gunst!
One of my favourite fun moments at this year's TEDxPiscataquaRiver was in Abbey Hallberg Siegfried's "This I Believe: The Transformative Power of Musical Connections." She asked if what we believed as individuals mattered. I believe(wink) it does, but I completely understood what she meant by that - we don't have to let what we believe get in the way of loving one another, and getting along regardless of disagreement politically, or otherwise.
She started singing, "Oh when the saints... go marching in... oh, when the saints go marching in..." some in the audience started to sing, and she had her "conductor's timing hand" on. When we realized it wasn't about to stop immediately, the rest of us joined in singing. She mimicked a whispering shh, just before we got to the end, so we knew not to keep going. Then, "Swing low... sweet charioooot, comin' forth to carry me home!" We all continued, swing low! Sweet chaarioot, comin' forth to carry me home! And then, a round! Half of us were singing When the Saints Go Marching In, and the other half, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. Personally, I was amazed in this day and age people even knew those songs, but it seemed that we all knew the words! That was pretty impressive, but also the fact that she got us all going with very minimal effort. Clearly, she has the skills of a music teacher! She started to sing a tune all on her own, and everyone sounded pretty wonderful, all together singing harmonies and melodies.
She made her point beautifully: no matter who we were, what our backgrounds or beliefs were, we were all united in music, at that moment. Not that it needed saying, but music is indeed powerful.
My job is quite simply to love people. It's to help people love themselves, and it's hopefully to help people love each other. - Abbey Hallberg Siegfried
Watch the video to witness the amazing musical moment, and hear her talk about the pipe organ!
When Mekeel McBride got onstage, she didn't strike me as an orator; even though it was hard sometimes to make out what she was saying in her initial reading, the next poem she read reached us all, I believe. It was about slowing down, and taking the time to know people, and enjoy life, rather than buzzing through it.
Ironically, hers was the shortest presentation of the day - listen to her read the poem, here!
I was very grateful when Professor Lyrical got onstage.
Please excuse me, while I say this: The previous speaker had taken an extra fifteen minutes - all the time allotted to him (not only that, it was just incredibly boring, as it seemed to me an irrelevant topic). I find that very discouraging; it is rude and inconsiderate to ignore the work of whoever set the time-frames with great care, and also to every single one of the other speakers who kept within their allotted time, whether they wanted to keep going, or not. Hey, if I'm going to praise Tyler Hamilton for doing good, I have to jerk the chain the other way when someone's not. Neither did Lyrical keep to his set time; he did say he was working off of the crowd, perhaps we all subconsciously wanted him to continue.
I say all this to avenge the scheduler, and to applaud those who did it right. It was an amazing event, and I thank everyone involved for being so awesome! It was a privilege to be there, I reiterate.
When Lyrical started in on his presentation, "The Transformative Power of Hip Hop," I was happy that it was actually engaging - although I knew he would be - it's in his job description. He packed a lot in such a short time, including this gem:
Education should not be a one-way force-fed predetermined lecture, it should be a two-way street. -Professor Lyrical
Don't forget to hear David Campbell tell of his stories and experiences on previous world disasters, from his ministry in All Hands Volunteers. It's a bit tear-jerking, and amazing! God bless 'im.
Thanks for reading my synopsis, and I hope you will enjoy the AMAZING videos from the TEDxPiscataquaRiver event of 2014, that you'll now be seeing!! Check out these photos, also! They're Awesome.