Tuesday, October 24, 2017

TEDx Sedona, 2017

The license for Sedona's TEDx project is held by a friend of Seret and Mr. DreamyCakes.  They were flying in from Chicago.  Sedona is a lovely drive from Tucson.  I missed my friends.  The decision to attend was an easy one.

It was a good decision.  There were allusions to avenues of thought I'd never considered before.  There was laughter and there was sorrow and there were gasps of surprise, of outrage, of disbelief.  The speakers were seated in the audience, were available at dinner before and lunch during and dinner afterwards.  They were out on the patio, wandering around, eager to engage the audience.  It was communal and stimulating and very, very real.

There were young women out to change the world.

Zoe Wild, a former Buddhist nun, a whirlwind, an unstoppable force for good in the world. entranced us with tales from the coast of Lesbos, where she and her team braved frigid waters and darkness and rocks to guide boats carrying refugees to shore.

Following their progress to the camp which would house them, she saw an opportunity where others saw despair.  Shifting the paradigm from crisis to progress, from charity to solidarity, she and her team took on the roles of city planners.  Why not create a big city, they wondered?  One Light Global built a community center, a school, gardens and gathering places.  Instead of disparate humans seeking shelter from a storm not of their own making, One Light Global looked at the residents as members of the community, as beings with skills they could share.  A tool sharing program soon created areas for small businesses to grow, for crafting sessions to develop into community support groups, for a sense of doing for themselves instead of being on the receiving end of charity.

Be bold and revolutionary with your participation to enact change

Deesha Dyer applied for a White House internship when President Obama was inaugurated.  She had to be a part of his team, even though she didn't have a college degree.  A full-time job followed the internship, along with her promise to finish her degree.

She did that and rose to become the White House Social Secretary.  Stunned by her own transformation, she resolved to share the wealth of knowledge and experience her opportunities has opened for her.  She and friends founded beGirl.World.  After two years of study together, 14 girls from Philadelphia traveled to Paris and London.

They traveled on passports secured with the help of beGirl.World, taking an airplane, not a rocket ship as someone had posited.  The notion of Europe was that distant to those girls.  They had never known anyone who traveled the world; that's for white girls, they said. After their experience abroad, the girls are going on to college, to the Peace Corps, and, they hope, back to places far and wide.

Again, it wasn't charity.  It was inclusion and sharing experiences and a conscious effort to make these girls citizens of the world.

Deesha made an interesting point:  You think nothing is wrong when everyone is the same.  Those girls didn't feel deprived; they knew no one who ventured overseas, who had a passport, who dreamed of climbing the Eiffel Tower (the real one, not the one in Las Vegas).  Without that opportunity, they really didn't know what they were missing.  Deesha showed them that it was out there, and attainable, too.

It was easy to feel good about the world after listening to what these two had to say.

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