Juan Trujillo

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Many people have influenced our lives positively and they may not know it. Who are they and what would you say to them if you could?

Social networks have connected us, but we have disconnected as human beings. I would like to know how interested people are in really connecting tothe people who have influenced them and how they would do it.

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    Sep 17 2013: All great comments.
    I posted this because one day I stopped and wondered, looking back in time, if I did thank some of those people who influenced me.
    As some of you have mentioned it, these people may have been been in our life continuously and always influencing us in different ways. These are usually family or close friends. Sometimes we thank them because they are close, but sometimes we don't do that enough, precisely because they are close. We are used to them being in our life and we seem to forget the importance of thanking.

    Then there's people who came in our life for a short period of time, or a mere moment, and willingly but maybe without knowing the effect, made a change in our life. Sometimes we stop and thank, but sometimes we don't even know that whatever that person did was going to have such an effect in our life. So that person never knew it and we never thanked them.

    Today I am the result of my own actions, but the inevitably I am also the result of others actions, some good, some bad. Me for one, have decided to go back in time, track those people and situations, and let them know that what they did for me, made my life better.

    I am looking for a domino effect too, because if people are aware of the POSITIVE influence a good action can have on someone else, we may just be able to turn some things around. Millions of people are doing it already, we need to do it more.
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      Sep 18 2013: Hi Juan;

      “ the benefits of a connected life outweigh the costs....social networks are required for the spread of good and valuable things, like love and kindness and happiness and altruism and ideas.....spend a lot more time nourishing them and sustaining them, because social networks are fundamentally related to goodness.....what the world needs now is more connections.”...... says Nicholas Christakis in his inspiring TED talk.

      Thank you for writing this beautiful post and for starting a conversation on this topic.
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        Sep 18 2013: Thanks for your comment Juliette. I couldn't agree more with you, and with Christakis point.
        I think that we need to redefine our newly established connections, make them real connections, reinforce them. Social networks helped it get started, now its us who need to use those tools among other tools for communication to improve the way we spread that good you are talking about.

        Globalization has made people get further away physically, technology gave us the possibility to get closer again. It doesn't matter how you say it, live is always better, but a thank you is always a thank you and saying it to someone face to face or emailing it will still have a positive effect in the other person, always. Domino effect.
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    Sep 16 2013: I had a horrific first 20 years--parent's heroin and alcohol addicted. Yet, in the midst of that there were some really kind and nice people. They have no idea that they sometimes literally saved my life. Once a man at a ride at a fair, which I was given no money for, gave me a free ride. I lived on that for the summer. A music teacher called me by my nick-name--treated me as a person... I got up in front of class and gave a presentation, something I NEVER did. I did it for her. Now, I try and BE that person for others. If I see an angry, tough, sarcastic teenager--I know she's afraid of everything, and I try and treat her as a valuable person. I try to always always err on the side of kindness. It cost me nothing and may be priceless to the receiver. Today if a clerk or a waitress is really nice, I ask for their boss and tell the boss how wonderful they were! Why? Because most folks only say the bad stuff. I try to carve the air around me in positiveness--as a sculpture carves marble... and at the end of the day, I review and ask what else could I have done.
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      Sep 18 2013: Kua, you nailed it, that is precisely it.

      Somebody made a difference in your life, inspired you to make a difference in other people life "Now, I try and BE that person.." That comment says it all.
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      Sep 18 2013: "err on the side of kindness"..........beautiful, just beautiful.

      Thank you for that fine thought-for-the-day Kua.
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    Sep 14 2013: I'd also like to show my thankness to all the Ted staff and people who gave me a thumb-up.

    To TED: Thank you for your excellent work which makes it possible for me to broaden my view and communicate with interesting people here.

    To people who gave me a thumb-up: Although I don't know some of you at all, thank you for your encouragement and support. They made my everyday more exciting and pleasant.

    Thank you.
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      Sep 18 2013: This is so nice. Many times we get these thumbs-up from TEDsters who never comment.
      What a wonderful way to show your gratitude Yoka my sister. Thank you.

      You brighten up TED!!!!
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        Sep 19 2013: You are so kind to me!!!
        You brighten my every morning and day!
        I still remember my debut comment in TED is about whether happiness is from inside or outside, you gave me the first thumb-up which is memorable for me. You helped me all my way in my TED exploration! Thank you,my sister!:)
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          Sep 19 2013: I gave you your first thumbs-up?
          Wow, and you remembered that?
          Aaah.......I feel very special now Yoka.
          Have a beautiful day. :D
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    Sep 13 2013: :) This seems like a program for stimulating people's friendliness to thank others. I like it~!

    By this moment what I've come up with is our street-sweepers are worth my thankness ,they work in tough weather conditions and with low salary, without their hardwork , our city won't be so neat and clean.

    "Many people have influenced our lives positively and they may not know it." The fact is many reticent people have influenced my life positively and indirectly but I haven't realized or realized little about it. If I know about it , I should have already shown my thankness to most of them. I think showing thankness timely is very important and I'm always trying to do that.
  • Sep 15 2013: First thing you need to do is be observant and be mature enough to understand that the consequence of someone's in-action would cause the quality of your life to be reduced. It takes a while for children to recognize the things their parents and other adults do to enable them to survive, have a good quality of life, and hopefully prosper. Some children never make this connection, some refuse to recognize it, even as adults. For those that did not learn to say "Thank you" for nice things done for them, the world can seem a bitter place. The perception becomes everyone is driven only by money and greed, thus creating a cynical and often jaded adult.

    As the ones that learn to say "Thank you" mature into adults, they begin to realize that while the expression of thanks makes you feel better in the short term, the real way to say thanks is to do your part to give back to the ones that helped you. One way to do this is to take advantage of every opportunity they gave you to do your best at all you do. This honors the sacrifices made to give you the opportunities. Another way to say thanks is to do what you can do directly to help those that helped you, directly or indirectly. This could range form taking care of your parents to just respecting the elderly. Another way to say thanks is to continue the legacy of making sacrifices to ensure opportunity and good quality of life for the next generation, by volunteering and doing what you can to help organizations that help others.

    Perhaps the easiest way to say 'thank you' is to smile, look for opportunities to help people everyday, and continue to be observant and look for nice things to say to the people you meet. It seems parents and grandparents are usually quite gifted in finding nice things to say.

    One of the better kept secrets in life is to understand that doing small acts of kindness, or saying nice things to people you meet, enables you to generate your own positive energy and often control your own happiness.
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      Sep 15 2013: Thank you very much~! I agree that without any words , some kind benevolence and body languages from your heart to express your gratitude also make the world more beautiful and harmonious. It's a good point!
  • Sep 19 2013: it is a very good topic that deserves to be discussed . First of all , the first people who inspired me since my coming on earth is my dearest parents ; they played and they are still playing a crutial role in my life since I got something from their attitudes and above all way of working ; they always teach me how to do a good job , either at home or outside and this really helps me to get a positive outcome . Secondly , over the years we get in touch with the net , we meet new faces...etc and I would have to say there are two other people who inspired me positively and left a mark on my mind forever : the first one is my teacher at university ; her way of speaking , her attitudes and her ambition in life make her an inspirational teacher and everybody loves her . The second inspirational figure is an international speaker whose name is AMY PURDY . She had a big tragedy in life and she suffered a lot from loosing her legs , but she never gave up . Moreover she accomplished amazing things that a healthy person cann't do , that's why her story and her motivation touched me . To sum up , I'm blessed to know those people and heard their stories and of course it would be other people in near futur that would have a great impact on me , so i'm waiting for them .
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    Sep 16 2013: Who: mom and dad....I would say to them: Thank you. I love you.
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    Sep 15 2013: it depends the level of this influence ,it can be by an accident ,like it can be by a dream ,like it can be by another human like me,for the accident i'd like to thanks my destiny ,for the man i'll live the moment of this infleunce many times which honoring it in both sides (bad or good),for my dreams i will thanks it when it will become real ,thank you :)
  • Sep 15 2013: I use social network but many I still use phone and a very few I use ham radio.
  • Sep 13 2013: Everyone with whom I meet up, to whom I talk, and he or she who will smile back at me, influence my life positively on a daily basis :) They do not need to be intimate friends but exhibition of friendliness can only exert positivity on others!

    I agree that Facebook and such have facilitated re-connecting with people, especially those you do not see on a regular basis but I do have to say meeting a person face-to-face is really the way to make connections--make a date, go out for diner. It does not have to be frequent; a person is more than words that appear on a cellphone screen, albeit I do not even text that much. To my high school teachers who have influenced me greatly for the better, I still go back to my high school annually to catch-up. There are also the occasions when you bump into someone whom otherwise you would be hesitant to buzz on Facebook anyways, but that unexpected meeting instantly re-connects both of you again.
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    Sep 13 2013: Are you asking about people like the mentors we have known in our lives, or are you also including, say, public figures and authors whose works we have read or maybe whom we have heard speak? Aunt Midge or Martin Seligman?
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      Sep 13 2013: 25 minutes ago: Yeah, good to clarify. I am talking more of mentors, friends, someone that one day helped you in some way, without expecting anything back an their actions changed your day or your life.
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        Sep 13 2013: I absolutely believe in keeping in touch with people who have been important in my life but also in expressing my gratitude freely as life unfolds.

        Often this would be by email or telephone, because I do not live where I grew up, where I went to school, where I had my first job after college, and so forth. I am in touch with people important in my life whom I have not seen in twenty five years.

        Of course some very important people are no longer alive.