Monday, September 1, 2008

On the nature of Hope...

With the DNC convention in our rearview mirror, the GOP doing what it might to reverse that momentum, and my own reflections around my family and wedding anniversary (yay us! 12 years), I've spent a lot of time thinking about hope.

Hope has little to do with rhetoric and although the DNC's Presidential candidate has boiled his vision down to a series of sound bites, I do believe there's more to Sen. Obama's vision of hope than electability. Though this may seem like a non sequiter, I assure you it is not: I've been watching segments of the Ted Talks, including a feature-length documentary of the 2006 Ted Conference. I urge all of you to take the time to watch some of the talks, either on their website, YouTube or iTunes.

To begin, watch Sir Ken Robinson reflect on education and creativity---few current comedians are as funny and his message is phenomenal:


Sir Robinson says, and I do believe, that the Ted Conferences celebrate the imagination -- but far more than that. What Ted does is to bring together open-minded, creative, talented and resource-laden people who hope and reach for solutions to the problems confronting humanity today. Sir Robinson speaks to the breadth of human experience that has been neglected, nay, discouraged by modern industrial culture. This is an oversight that may well leave us completely unprepared to meet the future and Sir Robinson does an excellent job of summing up the importance of gatherings like the Ted Conferences.

The range of topic is immense. Majora Carter is not a great speaker naturally but her passion and efforts for environmental and social justice in the South Bronx is absolutely breathtaking and inspiring:



Watching a great many of these talks recently, I can't help but be filled with hope. That perhaps with groups of people having these kinds of discussions, hatching these kinds of project, working to form these partnerships, we must certainly be up to these challenges. Thanks to Special K for reminding me of this quote by Margaret Mead:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
I certainly hope so.

One last thing from Ted---as if you need further examples of the brilliance of these speakers, a moment of light-hearted, creative genius:

10 comments:

Lyman said...

Obama uses hope as a basis for his campaign, the Republicans use fear as a basis for those.

And for some reason, this makes Obama the bad guy?

KHM said...

huh? Obama's not a bad guy; he's MY guy!

I think it may be that we have been without hope so long that we need to be reminded of how to nurture it. I think Sen Obama understands that the most fundamental essence of hope is an entanglement of change and concern. What I don't believe most Americans understand is how completely we overlook the full range of ppssibilities for realizing our hopes and dreams for the future.

I'm very pleased with the Obama campaign message of hope and I'm really ready for some change. I wonder which public school system in this country will be so bold as to embrace Sir Robinson's ideas and begin to shift curriculum back to include the other side of brains and the rest of our bodies.... ?

Lyman said...

Not the way its going, not for the moment anyway. With 'No Child Left Behind' and serious budget cuts here in CA, the arts are getting the axe school by school.

KHM said...

Interestingly, Oklahoma (of all places) is working with Sir Robinson on a creativity curriculum for their public schools.

Frank sent this. Did you watch the vid?

jill said...

Minor moment of pedantry - it's "Sir Ken," not "Sir Robinson."

Sorry - back to your regularly scheduled substance.

KHM said...

Seriously? Thank god you told me before we go out next week....

Special K said...

This TED stuff just recently came on my radar - thanks for pointing out some! Just listened to the Sir So-and-So one - brilliant talk!

KHM said...

K, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Sir so-and-so is mad-provocative, right?

jill said...

Hope you have a nice date...

;-)

The "Sir" and "Lady" stuff is actually interesting - because Ladies are often "Lady Lastname," but not always. F'rinstance, I wondered at one point why Lady Catherine DeBourgh in "Pride and Prejudice" was "Lady Catherine" and not "Lady DeBourgh."

Turns out it was because, due to her birth, she outranked her husband. You can't make this stuff up...

KSM said...

where are you?