I’m a TEDAddict. Unashamed. Shout till I drop. Addict.
It started with the first TEDTalk I ever watched which assured me that my need to radically review my stance on education is a necessity, not just for me personally, but for everyone I connect with.
And I finally got it. The chance to attend TEDActive. “Attendance” isn’t the right word for it, because this is one of those events where you create your own participation. You can “curate” what happens to you that week, which allows every single participant to experience a completely different version of TED.
Expectations: I thought I’d be so awestruck that I wouldn’t have time to land on my feet.
Reality: I was able to rationally experience everything. Some things took me by surprise, but I was still the person in charge, which made all the difference. Instead of running around, reacting to everything, trying to catch up, I actively participated. And while filling out the feedback form, I wasn’t upset about missing out on an incredible activity here and there. Quite the contrary, I was able to remember why I hadn’t done so, where I had been instead which, in retrospect, was exactly what I needed to be doing.
Expectation: I’d come back home and brag about the experience.
Reality: I came back home and all I can talk about are the IDEAS! (Some bragging from time to time is inevitable :P)
I can remember the robots I marveled at, the ethical notions of effective altruism, the art of asking, the emotional connection to spoken word poetry. I can go on for hours about the need to evaluate DeExtinction, and whether Jurassic Park will become reality.
I can debate this year’s TEDPrize and plan for a project in Lebanon where such SOLE platforms can actually become reality.
The word I’m constantly repeating is “reality”.
Because, oddly enough and contrary to my expectations, TED didn’t take me up into a cloud of hope as some people may believe. It brought me back and affirmed my belief in reality, and in the capacity to work on something NOW.
I may not remember all the ideas I saw on that stage. I may only have a beautiful memory of a virtual choir in real time which left me, and my goosebumps, in complete wonder.
I may smile in recollection because of some beautiful people I met, people who are working in their own communities every single second. I might fondly look back at the frustration in preparing our own video from scratch.
But, in essence, all I can think about is my firm belief in being grounded. In realizing that my every move, with my feet solidly placed on the ground, is exactly what I need it to be….for the present.