Yesterday, I had the privilege of joining 14 other speakers and performers at the inaugural TEDx Columbia event. What began for me as an Oh my God, how will I ever have time to prepare for this item on my never-ending list became a transformative experience second only to CreateAthon, my subject de jour.
While I was more than humbled to have the opportunity to spread the CreateAthon gospel on such a distinguished stage, I was more moved by the cumulative effect of the day. It crept inside me as these words bounced in and out of every conversation.
What if. Who knew. We can. You can. I did. I asked. Yes.
There also was a lot of talk during the day about Columbia and the undiscovered potential of our city as evidenced by the talent, intellect and passion of everyone assembled at TEDx Columbia. The mere fact that we “did TEDx” was viewed as a great achievement. Certainly it was.
I submit the greater outcome of the day, however, lies in a heightened awareness of the other. Look at what that other person is doing. Look at the terrible thing that happened to her, and what she did with it. Look at the risk he took.
TEDx gave us a day to put down our own ego-driven lens and peer through the lens of the other. To soak in our fellow man’s distinctive experiences, and to consider just how vital it is that we all see the world a little bit differently.
After all, if two of us are exactly the same, one of us is irrelevant (to quote Jay Coles).
I think the world’s a little more beautiful today, being reminded of that.
So many thanks to the incredible TEDx Columbia team and fellow speakers for inviting me to be part of this incredible experience, for working so hard to make it such a success, and for entering my life as new friends.