Test your assumptions …
Do you believe that single mothers on welfare are irresponsible deadbeats who set a bad example for their children because they are too lazy to get out and earn a living?
If so, you just wrote off Joanne Rowling, better known as the creator of Harry Potter. Coming through the death of her mother, domestic abuse, divorce and abject poverty, Jo rose from being on social assistance to become a multimillionaire in less than five years. She’s now a generous philanthropist and one of the most influential women in Britain, with TIME magazine naming her as a runner-up for its 2007 Person of the Year, noting the social, moral, and political inspiration she has given her fans.
“It’s impossible not to love someone whose story you have heard.” The beloved children’s TV host Mister Rogers carried that quote in his wallet, to remind him of the importance of listening.
“Storytelling + listening can connect residents of a divided city.”
“We all want to use our talents to create something meaningful with our lives. But how to get started?”
This is a pretty great invitation, and the one that Forbes columnist, Kare Anderson, gave in her TED Talk back in September of 2014.
We are often confronted by moments of connection with people who really challenge our ideas, our values and our points of view. Shutting the door to that connection may be the easiest and most comfortable thing to do, but there are so many incredible opportunities that are lost when we do that.
One of the things that really resonated with me was a particular observation Kare made about people who are the greatest “opportunity makers”:
“They’re not affronted by differences. They’re fascinated by them.”
Kare issued a resonant challenge:
“To re-imagine a world where we use our best talents together more often to accomplish greater things together than we could on our own.”
Click through to watch Kare’s TED Talk to learn more about the ways you can boost your powers as an “Opportunity Maker”.
My friend Ed Vielmetti has a lovely practice. He sends postcards to friends on a regular basis.
He told me about this when I first met him more than a decade ago at one of Jerry Michalski’s soul-changing retreats.
I thought it was a wonderful way of reviving old fashioned letter writing on a micro-scale.
Today I received one of Ed’s postcards. It was of one of my favorite places on the earth: the Crown Fountain in Millennium Park, Chicago. This is a sacred space for me, where I am constantly reminded of the reverence of community, and the joy of play even into the wee hours of the morning.
I don’t think Ed knew this when he sent me this postcard. It was something he had picked up on one of his day trips to Chicago. The synchronicity was perfect.
Thanks Ed for this beautiful gift. You absolutely made my day. <3