I’ve already confessed to one guilty pleasure (DWTS!). Today I’m confessing to regular surfing to www.ted.com. What a marvelous place! A place where you can hear really smart people talk about fascinating things.
I just finishing watching William Ury. He’s sort of a guru in the field of conflict resolution and mediation. Author of “Getting to Yes” and numerous other books. Co-founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project. His talk on Ted caught my eye because I’ve been thinking a lot about my future and that maybe it lies in helping others resolve conflict.
Let me back up. I’ve spent the last several years teaching conflict resolution and mediation through my work as a labour educator and a lot of the ideas I use come from William Ury. Of course, I’ve also been using other ideas. The idea that being seated in a circle to talk is the most democratic – and most vulnerable – way people can come together to address whatever’s on their minds. The idea that conflict affects more than the parties involved. The idea that when we share our personal stories, we connect. And that our individual stories combine to tell the story of the world around us. And we get to shape it. The idea that reaching out to and building communities of interest who share common values is how we change the world. That it’s all about connections. Turns out, Bill has been thinking about those too.
In his Ted talk, Ury takes us to the idea of Abraham’s path. (www.abrahamspath.org) I won’t try to explain it. He does a good job by himself. (The talk runs about 18 minutes but it’s worth it.)
Alright, so who’s Johnny? And what does he have to do with Ted and Bill? Johnny Reid is a Scottish singer-songwriter who has made his home in Canada. In his own way, I find him as inspiring as Ted and Bill. And it turns out he has similar ideas. He just expresses them differently. A song on his newest album has been running through my head for days. I saw him perform a couple of weeks ago and it was a wonderful concert. He’s funny. He’s a true storyteller. He sings with passion and conviction. He wears his heart on his sleeve. I do believe he may have a pair of those pink tinted glasses around somewhere. And I believe he wants to change to world too.
This is an acoustic, stripped down version of Today I’m Gonna Try and Change the World on CBC Radio’s Q.
This is now my anthem. A good place to start the day. A good place to start building my future.