Kriss Clement

This conversation is closed.

What are you doing to make the world a better place?

I firmly believe that everyone can, and should, make a difference. How one does this is dependant upon many factors. What I am interested in is how people in the TED.com community choose to use their interests and talents. For the purpose of this discussion, let's leave "earning a pay cheque", "employing people", and "paying taxes" out of the conversation.

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    Jul 25 2011: How would you make The Pietà a better sculpture?

    One does not make the world a better place; one enjoys it as it is.

    Making it "a better place" has resulted in most of the "problems" we are now trying to solve.

    Enjoy it as it is ("problems" and all) and I suspect we will find it gets better all by itself.
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      Jul 25 2011: I guess, for me, part of the issue is how we define "making the world better". I realize that perhaps I had not defined the question tightly enough. I have no doubt that without humans, the world would be infinitely better and that ecosystems would adjust. However, as we are here, given the human suffering in the world and the environmental damage we have inflicted, I believe that we (as individuals as well as groups) have a responsibility to make a positive difference in some way. My specific interest is in how indidviduals contribute to the collective betterment of society, the environement, and human systems. I agree that many well-meant tamperings have resulted in horrible results, but I respectfully disagree with the stance that we simply enjoy it as it is and let 'it' sort 'itself' out.
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        Jul 25 2011: Hi Kriss,

        Thanks for your comment.

        You mentioned that you "respectfully disagree with the stance that we simply enjoy it as it is and let 'it' sort 'itself' out."

        I get that response a lot. It's almost as if we cannot envision the world "working" unless we fix it.

        This is what I think: If each one of us found the joy and fulfillment we seek in our own hearts, we would then stop trying to manipulate the world in such a way hoping that we might find it there.

        It does not matter when we start. If we started now and simply enjoyed our lives, I am pretty sure the world would heal itself.

        So what would that look like?

        I don't really know. (It might look a lot like it does now but without destruction, guns and war.)

        I do know this: by finding joy within my own being I relieve the world of the burden of having to satisfy me. And I think that allows me to see that the world - as it is - could not be better. It is perfect.

        Ah, but maybe you are not talking about "the world" ... maybe you are talking about human culture.

        How could we make that better?

        I think if each one of us found happiness within ourselves that would be a good start.

        Have you noticed that people who are in love do not go around "solving problems'" or "complaining?" They go around with this silly look on their faces and no matter what happens (within reason,) they are happy.

        Finding happiness within - I think that would transform human society.
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          Jul 25 2011: See, this is why I love Ted.com. It's so lovely to be able to discuss opositional points of view with intelligent people who are interested in a respectful discussion. I agree whole heartedly that we should each seek happiness - in fact I am a firm believer that happiness is an active choice, not 'something that happens'. Each one of us needs to be grateful for what we have, and to focus on the good. However, I feel that we can do this while simultaneously seeking to contribute to a better world. To ignore famine, or declining bee populations, or global warming while remaining in a happy bubble is not, I feel, a good strategy for happy well-balanced people, or for a better world. In my experience, happy people are the ones out there solving problems, while being grateful for what they have. So, we do indeed have some common views.
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          Jul 25 2011: Wu Wei ;)
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        Jul 26 2011: QUOTE: Wu Wei ;)

        Shi de.

        (But with no path, no name, no association. So also: Bu wu wei.)
    • Jul 26 2011: Thomas,
      You asked, rhetorically of course, "How would you make The Pietà a better sculpture?"
      To which I would reply, simply: "I would make it more accessible for people. It would be a better sculpture if more people knew about it or could see it or could touch it. It would not be difficult to make it better because for a lot of people, having never seen it or even seen a picture of it, it doesn't exist. So any way to experience the work would be "better" for the person than it is now.

      But therein lies the problem with our different views on the subject. I do not believe that there exists a common value structure that can be used to determine what is good, bad, better, or worse. However, it seems clear from your remaining statements that not only does such a value table exist, but also that you are the keeper of it.

      You state that One does not make the world a better place; one enjoys it as it is.
      And of course that is true so long as one adheres to your value table. But for someone that is forced to make cakes of mud to eat in order to stave back their starvation, perhaps the world is not so wonderful . From your luxurious perspective, it is easy to make such claims and to do so irreverently.

      Before I reply to your other comments, I wanted to make the point that when evaluating something as "better" or "worse", you are by default employing a relative scale. And in the case of such rhetorical discussions as this, it can be easily assumed that "better" implies "better" from the perspective of an individual or group.
      The focus of this conversation, I believe, has more to do with individual perspective than you give credit. If your world is perfect and harmonious the way it is, congratulations. But then you probably shouldn't have any input if that's the case.

      In fact, the more I think about it, the more confusing it gets: Are you trying to offer a gift of enlightenment with your post--a seemingly contradictory action for such an enlightened state.
    • Jul 26 2011: So while I struggled with what seemed like an impossible contradiction: How can you suggest a path that in your opinion would make the world better if it's already perfect the way that it is?

      But I decided to table that detail and continue with my enlightenment:

      Making it "a better place" has resulted in most of the "problems" we are now trying to solve.
      Enjoy it as it is ("problems" and all) and I suspect we will find it gets better all by itself.

      Is it reasonable to claim that the world is perfect exactly the way that it is and yet there are problems that we (meaning yourself included) are trying to fix. Sounds like we need to stop...oh, but then needing to fix them is part of the state of perfection....wow.

      In short, by applying your own logic to the comments that you made one has to wonder if you honestly believe that the world is perfect in it's current state? And if so, why would you even be interested in sharing your perspective with the rest of us, who apparently due to our ignorance and naivete still somehow believe that we can make life better for someone in some way, hence making the world a better place.

      What I believe is happening is that you are providing a self-referential example of how even the best intentions can have negative impact. Perhaps you are trying to say that while it may be the intention of one person to improve the quality of life for another person, there is no real way to know for sure. In fact, the only certainty you can have is internal and if we all had that certainty, that assurance, the world would be better. There is no doubt.

      But that's a lot like saying, if the world were perfect it would be perfect, now isn't it. The goal of this conversation, from my perspective, is to see how other people are helping people to get a point where they are at luxury to share your enlightened state. That's how you can help make the world better, btw.
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        Jul 26 2011: I would never presume to speak for Thomas, but I would like to add here that we all bring to this discussion our own experience, our personal belief systems, and out own skill sets. I began this discussion to get a better understanding of the range of perspectives out there, and the type of actions that were being taken, as I have been feeling rather discouraged lately. (Thank you all, by the way, for making MY world a better place by giving me such concrete examples of such committment and generosity!) I do know many people of different faiths, for example Christian Scientists, for whom "...accepting the perfection of the world" is a legitimate way of making the world a better place. It is not my particular view point, but that is irrelevant. It is the diversity of views that I wanted, and a respectful 'conversation', so I am grateful for Thomas Jones' contributions, as I am for yours Jason.
    • Jul 26 2011: Thomas Jones, I hope that you get the chance to read this comment before I have so terribly offended you by my last two comments. I wanted to say that I appreciate your input and I apologize if I sound confrontational. It is not my intent to be combative as much as it is to discuss this issue. My writing style, word choice, and overall presentation may be off-putting, but please know that it is with profound respect that I submit my response to your posts. I expected to read a series of light and interesting articles that discussed various ways that people try to express generosity to each other. When I cam across your post, I was immediately engaged and felt passionately compelled to reply. So, please, know that despite the sarcastic tone, my investment in my reply is borne entirely of respect and completely the result of your ability to engage me as a reader. Best wishes, Jase
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        Jul 26 2011: Hi Jason,

        Thanks for your reply. You have obviously put a lot of thought into it. If I have time, I will give you the reply it deserves. For now let me just say a few things:

        1) If you read your own post again, you have asked and answered many of your own concerns quite well ... without any input from me (other than my original post.)

        2) There are a few areas where you have "mixed" value systems; presumably yours and the one you think I have. It creates an artificial, we could say, imagined, dichotomy.

        3) There are some errors of logic, or perhaps rhetoric. For example, one does not improve "The Pietà" by improving access to it, one improves access - which is a good thing. (As an aside, do you know it has been encased in glass because someone attacked it with a hammer?)

        4) Thank you for your third post, that was very thoughtful. As it turns out, it wasn't really necessary, I don't get offended by what people say. I appreciate it nonetheless.
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        Jul 27 2011: I'm sorry if I offended you too Jason! Thanks for third posting. Hope you didn't feel like I was 'shutting you down'!

        :D Kriss
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    Jul 28 2011: being vegetarian, riding my bicycle and using public transport,.

    being kind whenever possible, it's always possible.

    before acting, thinking about the best thing to do for the greater good.
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      Jul 29 2011: Less than 5 minutes ago: Hi Lars. I'm a vegan, ride my bike, and use public transportation too, so I hear you! I try to be kind (but sometimes fail). I try to be thoughtful as well. Thanks for contributing!
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    Jul 27 2011: I am starting a new peace movement. The focus is not on being anti anything, but rather, encouraging people to decide to evolve into the sort of humans we must be in order to have "World Peace." The keys are kindness, patience, forgiveness and thoughtfulness.

    If we had a world of true peace, where we all cared for each other, can you imagine people treating each other as we see each day on the road? This is the initial focal point: "Road Peace" is the first step toward World Peace.

    I am starting a conversation on this. Join me?
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      Jul 27 2011: First of all, I support you starting a new peace movement so the questions I am about to ask are not meant to cast any aspersions on you doing that.

      With that ...

      Is there a reason you are starting a new peace movement and not joining "an old one?"

      And another question: Wouldn't the first step to "Road Peace" be "Self Peace?"
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        Jul 27 2011: Thomas, thanks for your comments. If you would be so kind, click on my name to get to my profile, then click on "my conversations" to see the idea, a bit more developed. I would prefer that we discuss it there, rather than in the midst of another thread.
        I will attempt to briefly answer your excellent questions... 1) Many of the so-called "Peace Movements" seem to have roots in politics and anti-war pacifism,etc. It would be too time consuming to try to avoid all those pitfalls. 2) I believe in multitasking, especially in this case. What I ask people to do as they focus on "Road Peace" is to observe how we treat others. As we learn to stay calm and forgive the driver who made a knuckle-headed move, we contribute to Road Peace by not giving in to the pull toward road rage; this brings "Self Peace" at the same time.
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          Jul 27 2011: Hi Earl. Just visited your conversation and saw a more complete description. Kudos. This movement could make a real difference if it catches on! Can I post your websit on my blog?
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          Jul 27 2011: I'm in Earl:>)

          Thomas,
          You are wonderful, intelligent, philosophical, insightful...just say yes:>)
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          Jul 27 2011: Hi Earl,

          Thanks for your reply. I will check out your profile soon.

          QUOTE: 1) Many of the so-called "Peace Movements" seem to have roots in politics and anti-war pacifism,etc.

          Yes. I agree. "Peace" is not the absence or "war." I am aware of a few peace movements that make a similar distinction ... and I think it an excellent distinction to make! The more, the peacefuller. (Yeah, I don't think that phrase will catch on.)

          QUOTE: 2) I believe in multitasking, especially in this case. What I ask people to do as they focus on "Road Peace" is to observe how we treat others.

          Got it.
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          Jul 27 2011: QUOTE: "You are wonderful, intelligent, philosophical, insightful...just say yes:>)"

          Thank you.

          Yes.
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          Jul 28 2011: Good sense of humor too:>)
    • Jul 27 2011: well,non-violence is the best solution of any problem.
      but,can you please elaborate the term "road peace" ?
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      Jul 27 2011: I'll be happy to join your conversation, Earl. I would like to challenge you a bit, though. How, exactly, will you be staring this new movement? How will you be challenging others? What types of tools will you be developing, and how will you be providing support to others in this initiative? (You all must be getting tired of hearing words like "concrete" and "how" from me by now. Just to disclose, I've worked in the non-profit sector for many many years, with many people who bring high ideals with them. I frequently find, though, that without grounding and practical strategies more harm is done than good, so I am always intersted in the details and the 'how'.)
    • Jul 28 2011: Hi Earl, I support the movement. A great idea towards world peace. I believe world peace can only be achieved if we have inner peace, love & considerations within our hearts and minds. I am interested to be an advocate for peace & freedom.

      Humbly, I started an informal non-profit orientated group know as InnerPeaceWalkers with a belief "where there is inner peace there is outer peace". Those of you who have facebook account, can check it out to support if you like it, click "Like" at the top of page to support (thanks for support). Peace always to all :)
      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Inner-Peace-Walkers/238268006193406?sk=wall
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    Jul 27 2011: Well, I don't have much money and I'm pretty much committed to my studies.Therefore, the only way I try to make the world a better place was to try to make the environment cleaner and less polluted.I recycle bottles.Everyday I collect bottles thrown away in the garbage in my house or at the college and send them all to the recycling centre in the weekends.This might be a small step for me but you know what they say, a small step for man is a giant leap for mankind.
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      Jul 27 2011: ...but why do you assume that this is small? Recycling and collecting bottles is a completely 'do-able' action that you are taking that also allows you to meet your committments and responsibilities, and you might be surprised. You may have inspired others to take action as well. Thanks for posting, Benjamin.
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        Jul 27 2011: Thanks Kriss.You just made my day.
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          Jul 27 2011: One of the limitations to contributing to our world, is that people often think...what I'm doing is not enough, so what's the point? EVERYTHING we can do is helpful to the whole. We all have different committments in our lives at different times, which impacts our time, energy and financial ability to contribute. When I was raising a family and had a career, I didn't have time for volunteer work in social services agencies, for example. When I retired, more time became available. We all have different skills, talents, time, finances, etc. The important thing is to use what we have at any given moment to contribute to the whole to the best of our ability:>)
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        Jul 28 2011: @Colleen, being consistent towards what I'm fighting for is the key I suppose.This in turn will create a big impact towards the environment.I really hope for that.
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          Jul 28 2011: Being consistent is important, but even inconsistent bits and pieces add up. One little example. I can't afford to buy fair trade, organic, and/or shade grown coffee every time I go shopping, and I will freely admit that I am addicted and have absolutely no intention of giving it up. Instread, I buy it every other time and mix my coffee half and half. Half as guilty, half the benifit, half the expense, but infinitely more benifits than if I had just given up and never buy 'good' coffee. Colleen, you are absolutely correct in your statements that people have to be responsible, and should give only what they can, and in the way they can. It all counts. I do think, though, that some people (clearly not the amazing people here at Ted.com) use the "I'm busy" for not doing anything. Muhammad, your studies count. I know how expensive it is to study, too, so I imagine you have work (as in 'paid' work) on top of that. These need to be your priorities. It's just amazing that you are still doing something. Colleen, when you are ready to give more, I have no doubt that you will. As a volunteer coordinator, I can tell you that you are exactly the type of volunteer that many organisations look for!
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          Jul 29 2011: Maybe we can be consistent in our resolve, and realize that we have different abilities, skills, talents and finances at different times in our lives:>)

          Volunteer Coordinator for United Way was one of my volunteer jobs. That was after working at a shelter for women and children and a family center, dept. of corrections,
          advocate/case reviewer for children in state custody, respite house/terminal care facility, local planning commission, development review board, rescue squad, regional brownfields comm.(evaluates toxic sites for clean-up and redevelopment), etc.

          Now I'm only on the regional planning commission, regional transportation advisory comm. and project review comm, volunteer coordinator for the local emergency management team AND...did I tell you I have a little garden??? LOL!!! Yes Kriss, when I am ready to give more, there is no doubt that I will!!! LOL again:>)
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          Jul 29 2011: I think that perhaps I should mention that balance is important too, and that our type of work needs to be viewed as a marathon,not a sprint. I'm sending you psychic cups of tea in the hopes that you'll take the time to curl up with a good book, or a good movie, or something relaxing. You deserve it!
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          Jul 29 2011: Thank you Kriss,
          Balance is ABSOLUTELY important, and what I mentioned above is over a period of many years:>) I just got a kick out of your comment about when I was ready I'd probably give more:>) I also bicycle, hike, kayak, stop and smell the roses, relax with friends and by myself, and I've sat with many cups of delicious tea and curled up with many good books along the way:>)
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          Aug 2 2011: Oh. I am relieved. I'm still working on the balance thing. (I talk a good talk, and am quick to point it out to others, but do as I say....:D ) I go on vacation on Sunday, so I will definitely be in lay-back mode, storing up for the work waiting form me when I get home. I do stop and watch the bees as often as I can, though....Thanks again, Colleen.
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          Aug 2 2011: My pleasure Kriss...and thank you for what YOU do:>)
          Hope you have a GREAT vacation:>)
          I was in your area again today...biked from St. Jean to Chambly along the canal...WONDERFUL BALANCED DAY!!!
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    Jul 26 2011: I'm going to get my Masters in Global Criminology with a Penology focus so I can actually assist in rehabilitating prisoners in the Untied States! With 1/99 people imprisoned or otherwise affiliated with the prison system, WE NEED REHABILITATION!
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      Jul 26 2011: I can't agree with you more. Concrete solutuions to the social problems leading to criminal behaviour (and I know how daunting that sounds), as well as practical, concrete rehabilitations options for criminals are absolute necessities. Great future plans, and I wish you success. Are you volunteering now in this area? What are you doing to make the world better now, other than getting yourself ready for your M.A. or M.Sc. (and I also realize that this may be quite time intensive)?
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        Jul 26 2011: Currently I am the amiable complaints department at an animal hospital corporation. So I filter and assist very pissed off people and attempt to improve their quality of life by being efficient at having their complaints addressed in a timely manner and with a logical and courteous person on the receiving end of the phone call.

        I also recycle and take all materials that aren't recycled at my job, but are in life, home with me.

        I also don't drive, thereby significantly cutting back on my carbon footprint.

        And, ultimately, I make it my every day intention to not put out any kind of energy I don't want to see in the world and that I don't want reacting back on me!

        Thanks for the vote of confidence with the criminal rehabilitation. It will definitely be a long process of study and field work before I am officially allowed into prison's I'm sure.
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          Jul 29 2011: Hi Sanyu:>)
          Way to go girl!!! Working with offenders is a much needed task! You are doing a LOT, and how about considering some volunteer work in prisons before your studies are finished?

          I volunteered with the dept of corrections for approx. 6 years with no previous education/training in that field, and worked in various capacities with P&P, facilitating "cognitive self change sessions" with offenders, serving on the reparative board, etc.

          Two programs I found very successful that you might explore are:
          "Real Justice", for which there is a training program, used throughout the USA and other countries (It started in Australia).

          "Houses of Healing - A prisoner's Guide To Inner Power and Freedom" by Robin Casarjian
          This book stands well alone as a guide to prisoners, administrators, volunteers, families, etc., and there is also a workbook to facilitate workshops/support groups.

          Both of these are available on line:>)
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      Jul 29 2011: Sanyu, Your desire to become a rehabilitator of humans is admirable. It is challenging work. If I may, I would like to recommend a book by Harvey Jackins, "The Human Side of Human Beings." It can be found on Amazon, and is a quick and enlightening read. Best wishes for you!
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        Jul 29 2011: Hi Earl!

        Thank you for the recommendation. I will be sure to give it a read and get back to you when I do!

        Sanyu

        ADDED: Amazing and thank you Colleen! So much great material to read. I will be sure to check out both programs and yes, I am looking into getting into prisons before I receive my degree. I am likely going to start doing so in September.
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    Jul 26 2011: I think the most important thing I can do is to be the best me that I can be. More loving, more understanding, more and less of other things.
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      Jul 26 2011: starting with myself, I would like to add
      helping who's near me, neighbors friends, people like my opinions I try to influence their decision to the better, by either discussing these issues or make them remember where the right track is (most people forget by time or life pressures)
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        Jul 27 2011: Hi Mohamed Selim, I agree that being helpful is a wonderful quality but over the course of my life I have learned that it is also important to respect the other enough to wait in some cases to be asked for help. Assuming that we understand the situation or the person's needs better than they do or that we are more competent in solving the problem is sometimes counterproductive.
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        Jul 27 2011: Hello Mohamed Selim and Debra Smith, Good points. Giving help can be tricky if we are not thoughtful about it. My wife has CP (Cerebral Palsy), and has been involved for many years in disability rights, etc, and I have learned that an offer to push someone in a wheelchair can be poorly received. The person may be trying to demonstrate independence, and see such an offer as a sign of not being seen as a whole person. If the help is accepted, it is usually good to strike up a conversation, so the person feels like a human, rather than baggage.
        Another situation: a neighbor was putting together a swing set for his children, and kept looking at the directions as though in another language. I said, "Oh, that looks like fun. Can we do it together?" The help was gladly accepted.
        The important thing is to be sure that help is not being thrust upon someone, as this is disrespectful, and seldom welcomed.
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          Jul 27 2011: I so agree! I have worked as a care-giver, and have seen people seriously injured. One woman I know (who happened to have severe osteoporosis) had her arm broken when a passer-by noticed she was blind and grabbed her arm to help her across the street. Another person fell as she was being pivoted into a wheelchair, because a passerby moved the wheelchair (that had been placed by a care-giver prior to pivoting, with her patient's specific abilities and needs inmind). On the other hand, I live in a city that is thankfully flooded with tourists in the summer, and the minute one sees an open map on a city street, one stops to offer help. I guess all this is to say that offering help, and providing it in the manner difined by the receiver, makes the world a better place!
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          Jul 27 2011: Earl and Kriss,
          Everything you guys have mentioned is part of being truly aware of other people and what they actually "need". People often offer "help" with good intentions, and if we are not aware of what the person actually needs, we can cause more harm than good. We need to really listen on many different levels and not be afraid to ask a person what s/he needs.
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          Jul 29 2011: Amen, Colleen!
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      Jul 26 2011: I agree that frequently the biggest impact we can see is in our immediate environement, be it our family, our friends, our neighbourhood, etc. Being the best you can be, kind and understanding, is definitely a big part of it. I think that often these qualities can be cultivated, and once they begin to bloom, the concrete signs are indeed seen as community support. Thank you both for sharing, and for providing examples of everyday 'small' (not the same as 'insignificant'!) actions can translate into larger 'ripples'.
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    Jul 25 2011: I planted a little garden, which provides food, beauty, joy, homes for birds, bees, dragonflys, fish, frogs, etc., AND cleans the air and water:>)
    http://smugdud.smugmug.com/Quintessential%20Vermont )
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      Jul 25 2011: This is wonderful! I just finished posting my newest blog entry (this one on the importance of bees), so I understand how important a garden can be. Your pictures are fantastic, too. Can I put your blog address on my blog, so I can use it as an example? You can take a look at what I've done here:
      www.auntiapathy.blogspot.com. Let me know!
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        Jul 25 2011: Kriss,
        Thank you.....sure you can use it as an example, and I'm honored:>) I LOVE to spread information, and the gardens have been featured in 4 publications and a tv segment:>) Individuals and groups come to visit, and I share lots of plants and information creating many "garden addicts". :>)

        Your blog is GREAT, and it's good to let people know the importance of bees. If we don't have bees, we don't have a pollinated food chain...simple as that! I also hear the statement, or one similar... "I'm only one person and what I do doesn't really make a difference...between everyday choices and world events". That, to me, simply is not true. I believe there is a "collective energy" and we have the opportunity to contribute positively to that energy in each and every moment.
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          Jul 25 2011: Thanks so much, Colleen. I plan on posting a list of people making a difference in the future (when I get back from vacation, in Sept. some time) so will post it then, but in the mean time I think I'll post your site on my sidebar. Thanks so much for all you are doing. I bet your neighbours love you, too, and take lots of walks near your house! Thanks again.
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        Jul 25 2011: Thank you very much Kate...I would love to have you visit here:>) I do have neighbors who sit in the gardens and ponder:>) You know, when I'm in the gardens, I don't ever think of the "work". I think of it as "play". Of course there are challenging things to do in the gardens, but Mother Nature and I work/play together to create the peaceful place:>) I do what I love and/or love what I do:>)
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        Jul 27 2011: Kate,
        Thank you for your kind words...and speaking of what we do to make the world a better place...you demonstrate that very well with all of your kind words:>) I believe we are all here on this earth school to encourage and support each other in our life journey...thank you:>)
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      Jul 27 2011: My parents planted a small garden and I worked in it from age 6 to 18. I didn't even like to eat the tomatoes, zucchini, and beans until I was 16 (picky eater), but I certainly learned the value of hard work; weeding at 6am in the summer.
      At age 16L my church group made a corn patch and harvested it for an activity. Working in the corn actually gave me mild hives, but I was surprised by the fact that my attitude was changing; From selfish to more unselfish.
      More than anything I was convinced that having fresh fruits/veggies is essential to health after an internship (http://magazine.byu.edu/?act=view&a=2628) in Peru. Because my diet consisted of all fresh ingredients, my sweat smelled sweet! Literally the day I got back to the states my sweat started stinking again (I was again eating more processed foods).
      I look forward to teaching my kids about gardening and having our own.
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        Jul 27 2011: Robert,
        Gardens are WONDERFUL for so many reasons:>) I spent some time in Peru, hiking the Inca trail, and stopping in the small villages to eat corn, which is FABULOUSLY sweet there! I've never heard that sweat can smell sweet, but it does not surprise me...we are what we eat??? I have a friend who grows and eats TONS of garlic, and his skin smells like garlic some of the time.....good thing I like the smell of garlic!!! LOL:>)

        My mom was in the garden when she went into labor for me...we went to the hosp...did our thing...and we went back to the gardens. I've had gardens all my life and I cannot imagine NOT having a garden. A garden is a gift to all of us:>) I just finished a huge bowl of fresh green beans, summer squash and some BBQ chips on the side....it's all about balance!!! I did a 30 mile bike today and the body needed some salt! We don't have to give up anything...we need to listen to the body and find the balance:>)
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    Jul 25 2011: I have struggled with this over the past 7 years. For me, trying to make the world a better place started with having a better understanding of the world. I have been able to change my mindset through learning (many TED talks contributed to my changed mindset). I believe that to make the world a better place, we need to help people learn and improve their understanding of the world. But to really improve the world, we will also need to change the system structures of the institutions and organizations in which we work and function. Many people, as well as our institutions and organizations, are entrenched in a reductionist science mindset, yet we have about 100 years of science that shows how biologic organisms really work. Systems and complexity science have taught me that our behavior in and the value of an organization is produced by the conditions of the systems that are in place. Simple work can be run in reductionist science types of organizational system structures (hierarchy and vertical departments or silos). But for complex work, reductionist type system structures will eventually fail. We see this in our governments, financial systems, health care systems
    , etc.
    I quit my job two years ago to help start a new system structure for health care. We are starting an academic medical center in a new model that includes team-based, patient-centered care (the physician does not act independently, but helps lead teams focused on definable patient problems), continuous learning and clinical quality improvement principles to foster innovation, and a new training program to produce physicians who work in teams with the focus on the patient.
    I don't know if we will make the world a better place, but we are driven by the purpose of making our health care system better for the patient.
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      Jul 25 2011: Having struggled with three chronic health problems in the past, I can tell you first hand that creating a better health care system makes a HUGE difference, and does make the world a better place. Sounds as though you given this a lot of thought, taken action, and are actively improving things. Congratulations!
  • Jul 29 2011: well recycling, installing solar panels which not only helps us reduce what we have to pay out also reduces what we require from the grid, also looking at other ways in which to help those that are struggling to reach happiness in their lives but thats for another subject .
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      Jul 30 2011: Recycling AND solar power...a double whammy! Kudos.
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    Jul 29 2011: Desperately trying to counter the apathy of kids my school with a positive and intelligent outlook on life. I'm so tired of my generation being written off as lazy and ignorant, yet all my generation seems to be doing is promoting the stereotype. I'm going to Film school in the fall, but in the mean time I'm dedicating my time to learning as much as possible about psychology, philosophy, history, politics and ethics while learning French.

    I'm tired of wasting all my time; one person can make an impact on the world and I'm slowly collecting data to create a presentation similar to a TED talk that I can present at schools across Ontario.

    The purpose of the presentation is to outline the importance of motivation, positivity and intelligence to students who have been lead to believe apathy is cool.
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      Jul 29 2011: Way to go, Connor! Sounds like you are pretty engaged. Try not to get discouraged. You are probably effecting change in more ways than you know, and validation sometimes takes a while. I know how challenging this area can be. Know that you are making a difference. (Send me a message if you want some contacts in Ontario who can help. I know people who are working on exactly this issue.)
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      Jul 29 2011: Connor, I suspect that the apathy you see in others is a defense pattern. It is all too common that, when someone expresses enthusiasm for something, they are made fun of, and caused to feel embarrassment. This is a terrible hurt, which most of us fear (especially as young people) enough to avoid situations that make us vulnerable.
      I would like to recommend a book by Harvey Jackins, "The Human Side of Human Beings." It explains a lot about human behavior, and can be found on Amazon. Best wishes to you!
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        Jul 30 2011: Quite insiteful, Earl. I hadn't thought of the defense mechanism aspect. I frequently hear from so many that they can't make a differnce, or that the difference they make is so small that it isn't worth their efforts. I tend to be myopic because of this, and have lost sight of the complexity of human motivations. many thanks for reminding me!
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    Jul 28 2011: The world is a better place because I'm in it.
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      Jul 28 2011: Less than 5 minutes ago: I'm sure that's true for you, and for your family and friends. I'm going to challenge you a bit here, though, and ask you to think a bit more and tell us how you contribute to the rest of the world, and how you make a difference outside of your family and friends. I'm sure you contribute. Come on, Scott. Share with the rest of us!
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        Jul 29 2011: Well, I suppose that the band I play in is what I do for 'the world' although, in reality, it's more for 'the 4 drunks at the bar'.

        It may not seem like much but we try to spread good cheer, laughs, a bit of fun, encourage a bit of naughtiness and cutting loose, creativity - making not breaking, encourage the use of Love and rain a bit of peace and art on people's parade.

        In short, a poignant social commentary and an unselfish desire to entertain.
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      Jul 28 2011: I agree Scott: The world is a better place because you're in it.
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      Jul 29 2011: Scott, after reading some of your insightful comments, I agree! Glad you're here!
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    Jul 25 2011: Since I am just a lowly web designer, I have decided some time back to create 3 websites for topics that are dear to me or my family. The first is a community based site for the parents of cancer patient children, where the importance is the quality of living for the child, be it getting the proper information to parents new to dealing with this during an already overwhelming time or just a place to set a community work day to build swingsets and stuff for those same folks. Another is a pet shelter directory that is free for shelters to make a place to post rescues online for shelters that can't really afford such media interaction (most small ones are funded by one or two key folks) and another for something for our beloved military. Lots of vets get divorced because of the time away from home, many due to infidelity. I am thinking about doing a community based site for this. The first two have domain names already and are being built right now(albeit slowly since I have to make a living) but my third is not set in stone yet as far as the topic. That is just one of the things our soldiers face...
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      Jul 25 2011: This is fantastic, and exactly the type of information I was looking for. (I might respecfully suggest that your status as a "...lowly web designer..." has been elevated!). If you send me your websites, I'll post them on my blog. Sounds like you are doing quite a bit. Keep up the good work!
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        Jul 25 2011: Thank you, I will let you know! But only after they are ready to launch :)! Give me a shout through my site redhousewd.com, my contacts are there. I plan on checking out your blog as well.
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          Jul 25 2011: We'll do. Love your website and blog, by the way. Sounds like you are very practically based.
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        Jul 26 2011: Thanks! I have to be at this point I hate being wasteful, it's shameful. I bookmarked your blog, btw. Nice read! :) More to come on those sites pretty soon, I will message you directly. Thanks again!
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    Jul 25 2011: I spread knowledge and kindness, I support projects and devote my time to anyone/anything that makes the world a better place!
    I spend a lot of time learning as much as possible just so that I can spread it when I see a need.
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      Jul 25 2011: Kudos to both of you.
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      Jul 25 2011: You know Jimmy, I have noticed your commitment to do these things here on TED and I benefit from them too. I am trying as well in my own ways to spread the information that I have gained.
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    Jul 23 2011: WIll not be corrupt in my job.
    Be kind to people.
    And help TED spread "ideas worth spreading"
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      Jul 23 2011: Thanks for posting, Judge. I am interested in what exactly "...being kind to people" means to you. These kind of concrete details can make a difference when trying to encourage others to take action.
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        Jul 24 2011: Don't lash out on people when they screw up BEFORE you get the whole story
        Involve in NO politic at work. Mentor anybody who needs it.
        Celebrate people's success like it's my own
        Care bout what people say not who says it.
        Laugh along when people are laughing at me.

        Not easy... cause I got a bad temper.
        The objective is to minimize body counts.. mua ha ha ha hah a hahahhahaaa
        Compassion.
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          Jul 24 2011: This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks so much!
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    Aug 1 2011: As a recycle artist I try to incorporate as much junk into art projects as possible, I pick up trash in my neighborhood regularly. Because I can see how much energy it takes to recycle/reuse everything I could have thrown out I tend to use less. I volunteer for a local literacy org. I encourage people in their endeavors and also to explore new things, what's really possible. I give money when I can, mostly to support local fire departments and other local charities, donate usable items etc.
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      Aug 2 2011: Thank you thank you thank you! (Any link showing your art?) sounds like you are doing quite a bit.
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        Aug 2 2011: thank you for your interest. and for you thank you. you can find photos of my art on my facebook page. Boy, a little encouragement goes a long long way!
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          Aug 3 2011: Sorry to bug you, but having problems finding your facebook page. could you either link it, or send me an idea of what your 'picture' looks like? I'm really curious now!
  • Jul 31 2011: I would humbly suggest that the question should be "What am I doing to make the world a better place".

    In my own case I am trying to change my conduct and character in a way that makes life a joyful experience where the source of joy is from the enhanced consciousness inside of me and not dependent on things or behaviour of other people
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      Jul 31 2011: That would definitely make your life better, and would probably make you a lot nicer to be around, effecting the lives of your friends and family. However, I'm more interested in what concrete things you are doing outside your immediate circle. Do you volunteer? Do you recycle? Do you cut an elderly neighbour's grass? I am throwing down the gauntlet and pushing you a bit to challenger either yourself, or to provide a more complete answer.
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    Jul 31 2011: I have taught English as a Foreign Language since 1989. From that time till now, I have been trying to share with other teachers and students what I have learned over the years. But there was something that really impacted my professional career. In 2001, I was coordinating an exchange program in a public language center where I work until today. From that experience I could see how important was providing the students (mainly the low income ones) the chance to think globally and dream of having nice experience with people from different countries. In that exchange program 6 students and 2 teachers spent 11 days in Washington DC.
    From that experience, I could meet some people who are present in my life until today. I met the journalist Cathy Healy (DC) who introduced me iEARN - International Education and Resource Network. This network helped to support my students to be digitally included and have the chance of interacting with students from all over the world without leaving the school.
    iEARN showed me the way to help the students to exchange ideas, experiences and lifestyles. The impact was totally meaningful in my career and until today, I feel myself able to impact students and teachers' lives and careers for better by making them curious and interested in multiculturalism and respect to all differences.
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      Jul 31 2011: Less than 5 minutes ago: You've definitely made a difference with your career choice. What are you doing outside of work
  • Jul 29 2011: "Man In The Mirror"
    I'm Gonna Make A Change, For Once In My Life It's Gonna Feel Real Good, Gonna Make A Difference
    Gonna Make It Right . . .
    As I, Turn Up The Collar On My Favourite Winter Coat This Wind Is Blowin' My Mind I See The Kids In The Street, With Not Enough To Eat Who Am I, To Be Blind? Pretending Not To See Their Needs A Summer's Disregard, A Broken Bottle Top And A One Man's Soul They Follow Each Other On The Wind Ya' Know 'Cause They Got Nowhere To Go That's Why I Want You To Know

    I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror
    I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways
    And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
    If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
    (If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place)
    Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change (Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change)

    I've Been A Victim Of A Selfish Kind Of Love It's Time That I Realize That There Are Some With No Home, Not A Nickel To Loan Could It Be Really Me, Pretending That They're Not Alone?

    A Willow Deeply Scarred, Somebody's Broken Heart And A Washed-Out Dream (Washed-Out Dream) They Follow The Pattern Of The Wind, Ya' See Cause They Got No Place To Be That's Why I'm Starting With Me (Starting With Me!)

    http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/michaeljackson/maninthemirror.html
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      Jul 29 2011: ...and there is a reason that Michael Jackson's music was so popular. Thanks, Prasanth!
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    Jul 29 2011: Last year I went to Kenya for a holiday, only on this holiday, I went to a remote village, made friends with the locals and assisted in the building projects of an orphanage and a sewing room (the area was in drought). On top of our groups building projects, we each had personal projects. I organised and funded a local soccer tournament with a HIV awareness theme, and offered testing and counseling.

    I implore anyone looking for a "different" holiday to try it because it was one of the best experiences of my life, and the people I met there became my lifelong friends. The charity I went with are an Australian organisation called "the world youth organisation". Get involved!
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      Jul 29 2011: I lived in Kenya for seven years. What village did you go to?
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        Jul 30 2011: I lived in 2 different villages, one called Mutumbu which is about 90 minutes drive from Kisumu. The other is a small village called Odede around the same distance away from Kisumu. Both were amazing, where abouts did you live?
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          Jul 30 2011: Jambo Sana! Habari Yako, Bwana?

          I lived in Nairobi but travelled to lots of places: Masai Mara, Kisii, Bondo, Kitale, Mombasa, Naivasha, Eldoret, Kisumu, Kericho, Lamu, Nakuru, Thika, Kakamega, and so on. I may have passed though Odede and Mutumbu but I don't recall. They must be small.

          Kwaheri.
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    Jul 29 2011: My humble contribution is trying to make my world and that of my family and friends a little better by appreciating what we have and thanking God or Nature or whoever or whatever you believe in for that. Taking a little time every day to admire nature, to watch the sunset, to go for a walk breathing the pure air we still have is a blessing. Looking at people to guess how they feel and smile at them. Smiling is catching and that is what we need in these troubled times. I also grow interior plants and love animals.
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      Jul 29 2011: Less than 5 minutes ago: I think that appreciation and gratefulness is incredibly important, and a great first step. I would challenge you a bit here, though. How are you taking your pasion for clean air, for nature and plants, and translating that into some kind of action? Do you garden, creating an environment that supports insect diversity and better air quality? Do you have kids whom you educate about the importance of nature? I know, I'm getting pushy. I want to learn about the concrete actions that people are engaging in. Smiling, for instance, is indeed catching and does brighten others' days, and this can ripple out.
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      Jul 29 2011: Smiles are contagious...be a carrier:>)
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    Jul 27 2011: I am attempting to reform education by getting all teachers to convert their classrooms into Results Only Learning Enviornments (ROLE).

    I believe results-only learning can change education as we know it.

    www.resultsonlylearning.com.
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    Jul 27 2011: First we should begin from ourselves, to make ourselves standard (SMILE) at least. The problems or the world are caused by irresponsible people who just think of themselves and do not respect the rights of others. Some people lack the standard of behaviors and being loyal to their fellow citizens. I greatly agree for allocating some money for needy people or using it for the subject aroused (improving the world), as we practically do here but helping them to grow and stand on their feet is better. On the whole, if we exercise to innate the good characteristics of a real human being in ourselves and do our best to use them for the well being of others in every possible way, then the world will change. Sometimes we do no need to do anything but at least we can try not to harm others. All the best
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      Jul 27 2011: So, concretely, you make the world a better place by respecting the rights of others, through providing and example of how one can respect others (in order to help people develop respect as a 'standard' behaviour), thus contributing to a more harmonious world. Correct? Do you feel, as others in this discussion seem to, that self-development and improvement is the most significant contribution you can make?
  • Jul 27 2011: The world depends on the people.
    We cannot change the world BUT we can change the people.
    My belief is, if people become better people, then the world will become a better place to live.:)
  • Jul 27 2011: well,i seriously think that INTERACTION is the best way to make a difference.
    and yeah,we must never forget the caption "Be the change you want to see in the world".So,we must take care of our own attitude/behaviour/body language also, beacuse directly or indirectly it would influence the people around us.
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      Jul 27 2011: Thanks, Timisha. So, the way you are changing the world is by being kinder in your interactions?
      • Jul 28 2011: well,you can't say being 'kinder' in my interaction but there is a way of doing things.Don't you think so?
        if we are able to express ourselves in a right way then others would not just hear our words...they would rather LISTEN and FOLLOW them.
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          Jul 28 2011: I do agree. I think that sometimes, even when one tries one's best, the other person in the interaction is just not willing to listen or follow....but I always figure that I might have planted a seed when that happens. Good clarification on your part. Thanks!
      • Jul 29 2011: Your welcome...we must never stop trying..*that's what my experience says*.
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    Jul 27 2011: Hi Kriss....

    Firstly, we need to make the best of ourselves before we make the best of the world. So, as a student i would study hard and become a good citizen pf the world. Actually by following the rules of government can make the world a better place. Then, we can think of contributing in other ways to make the world more awesome.
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      Jul 27 2011: I agree that making the best of yourself is incredibly important. I would, however, challenge your thesis that it has to be done first. I think that there are many things that we can each do to make the world better while at the same time continuing to grow. (Hopefully, you will always be striving to become better, so the work will never be done.) So, what are you dong now to make the world a better place?
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        Jul 27 2011: As you said, there are many ways in contributing to the world and in order to do that, we need to make the best of ourselves first. So, now I will study NOW to make sure our FUTURE to be a better world.
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    Jul 26 2011: Je travaille sur une fondation qui a pour mission de fournir un toit et un lit aux personnes dans le besoin dans le monde. Objectif: Faire l'acquisition d'immeubles afin d'héberger les personnes aux prises avec l'itinérance et la pauvreté, internationalement.

    Je suis en train de monter un comité d'experts-conseils : ingénieurs, architectes, agent immobilier, avocat et comptable en fiscalité, affaires étrangères (gouvernementaux) etc...

    J'organise aussi des événements originaux en guise de levée de fonds, dont tous nos fonds à 100% sont placés en fidéicommis, à chaque campagne. Notre première campagne le : Master des Années 30 - Tournoi bénéfice de golf d'époque à Ile Bizard, le 22 août 2011, tu peux faire une recherche sur le net.

    Je suis une femme d'action....

    Merci pour la question Kriss !
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      Jul 27 2011: Mireille: J’habite a Montréal. SVP donnez moi la site web pour ton equipe, et je vais fair un peut de publicité pour vous! (Oh, and excuse the terrible French!)

      Kriss
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        Jul 27 2011: Merci cher Kriss, ton français est excellent !!

        I firmly believe this change is imminent, and will see it in our lifetime !!! Great question....now is time for action!!!

        Have a gret one today monsieur !
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          Jul 27 2011: Merci a vous! Again, if you send me your website, and/or more concrete information, I can post it on my website and also send it to my contacts in Montreal. You can email me the information if you want (clement.kriss@yahoo.ca). I second Kate's comment as well!
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        Jul 27 2011: I don't know if I can put a promotion on TED.com, like my website, this is why I did not provide you the address Kriss !

        But, you can certainly google F.I.S.H Corporation Foundation and see the Events section about the Master des Années 30 - Vintage style golf tournament benefiting at 100% the foundation for the acqusition of the first building....please, keep us in your prayers, all of you!!

        Tks!
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          Jul 27 2011: Mireille Chéry and Kriss Clement, links are included (if you put them in) your profiles, which we can access by clicking on your name, above your comment. Happy sharing!

          PS- For those of us who do not read French, is there a way to view your comments in English?
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          Jul 27 2011: Damn. Big appology. Sorry, Earl and everyone. I live in Montreal, and my French is not what it should be, so I tend to focus on my lack of francisization rather than the fact that I can actually function. Just to translate, I posted that I live in Montreal (Ile Bizarre, where Mireille is located, is a very short distance away), and that if she sends me her website I will post it on my blog. Hope that helps, and thanks very much for pointing out my lack of etiquette!
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          Jul 27 2011: Kriss,
          I noticed that you live in Montreal, and now it's nice to know that Mireille is from there as well. We're all neighbors, as I live in Vermont, near the Canadian border...just a hop skip and jump from Montreal! In fact, I did a bike ride on the beautiful bike paths last week...parked at the Victoria Bridge, then rode the bike path into Montreal...along the Lachine canal and then into Atwater Market to enjoy the delectable treats waiting for us:>)
          Beautiful city...beautiful people:>)
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          Jul 29 2011: Reply to Earl's question about translating postings in other languages. If you copy the segment you wish to understand and then open your Google home page and press the Translate button (next to Gmail) you can paste the words into the box and by choosing the languages you can instantly read a fairly accurate translation.
          Hope this helps!
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        Jul 27 2011: You are so king Kate ! Thank you so much, I accept it with an humble heart. Togetherness, that's what it is for me "US". It will happen!!

        God bless and have a wonderful day !
  • Jul 26 2011: Four years ago my wife and I returned from a safari in Africa that changed the way we see much of the world. We went there looking forward to seeing the jungle, it's wildlife and people and returned with fond memories and a new purpose in life.
    We realized that millions of children in the world are literally starving to death, while millions of us in North America stand by and wonder what we can do about it.
    The short answer is start doing something and start now. We began a campaign through the electrical industry in Canada to raise funds to feed children. We work through Canadian Feed The Children and have managed to generate enough money to pay for the equivalent of over three million meals in the past three years.
    For more information please visit us at the following link;
    http://cftc.r-esourcecenter.com/Event/index.asp?Event_Id=3
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      Jul 26 2011: This is remarkable. You and your wife have literally saved lives. I congratulate you both. I'm so glad I started this thread/conversation. I've been feeling quite blue about the world lately, and about how few people seem to be actively involved. All of you have started restoring my faith and optimism. I thank you, and everyone else contributing to this discussion!
  • Jul 26 2011: I rehab houses and I've been trying over the last two years to eliminate a lot of the toxic materials that have become mainstays in today's construction. Examples include, milk paint instead of normal paint which is basically a toxic plastic that makes drywall prone to mold/mildew. I use alternative wood stains like walnuts, coffee, and the darkest stain you can make is an iron acetate stain, made from "0000" steel wool soaked in vinegar. I go to dumpsters and take out old materials. Around 80% of the materials I use are from dumpsters or recently, I bought the material rights to an old farmhouse, and took out all the old materials I could. They are now going into an old house I'm remodeling. I do not use heat or AC, except on the occasions when my wife has a breakdown. I use a scythe instead of a lawnmower to mow a half acre, yes it takes a while. I plant a garden in my yard every year, and I just bought a vacant lot that I'm cleaning up and next year it should be a community garden.
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      Jul 26 2011: You sound pretty busy! I love the trend towards `greener` houses, and the fact that people are able to do something great for the enviroment as well as make a profit - a win-win position! Given the fact that I live in a city which has been dealing with bedbug infestations over the last several years, I am curious about how the `dumpster-diving` can be done without spreading possible `contaminates`. I have cut way back on the rescue of used items because of this, and would love to know how to get back to recycling items. Best of luck with your business, and thanks for making such a difference.
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    Jul 25 2011: I try to get to know people and let them know me. I believe by being a part of their lives, as family and friend, I can make the world a better place for them, and for me. Until I'm more influential to make a big, visible difference, this is how im going to make the change i want to see in the world.
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    Aug 18 2011: I too am trying to do my best. Sometimes I don't know how and many times (most of them) I believe I need people to join me to make some things work out, but I believe I can do many things on my own, starting from listening a lot, observing and interfering if I feel valid in life situations. I talk to people I don't know -and I don't care- and I believe that makes us more connected, happy and experiencing. I try to make good to people through actions and words. I respect others and myself. I sit with friends and interesting people to discuss and try to have simple (and some complicated ones!!) good ideas to Invest my life in doing something for me, someone else or everybody instead of complaining and doing nothing -and then people who don't do much I know start doing the same thing their own way. (:
    I believe every effort is valid, and I think it is worth using my existence to reach great goals!
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    Aug 11 2011: Hi Kriss Clement
    I attend to my well-being in both expressive and receptive modes. If we can share joy, I think that will go a long way toward playing an eternal game that is non-zero sum, and sort of raises all boats with the rising tide.

    I make music and share it. I think making, appreciating, and sharing uplifting art forms is an enriching experience for all concerned. I think many arts go unrecognized. Is humor an art? Some people are really good at it.

    I think our own well-being (happiness) and the quality of our relationships are important. Anything that has people saying "yes" to life and gratitude for the moment has to help make the world a better place.
    Mark
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    Aug 4 2011: We believe in looking out for the well being of the family in its entirety. Originally our eyes were set on the mothers, but since then I think we have adopted a much broader outreach. I think a partnership is something we may be able to workout for the good of our general humanitarian cause. I actually would love for you, or your preceptor, to speak to my executive director, Rahul Singhal. He can be reached a rahul@saveamother.org.
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      Aug 4 2011: So glad to hear that you have branched into the rest of the family too. I know that it isn't where a lot of the focus is sometimes (and at times for very good reason), but it has become something that I am concerned about, as I stated.

      I'm about to go on vacation, but I will definitely forward your ED's contact information to mine, and fill her in on our conversations. Networking is always a good thing, and it seems that there are some commonalities.

      Best of luck witth your endeavours! Thanks so much for taking part in the conversation, too!

      Kriss
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    Aug 1 2011: I mostly use public transportation instead of my car and recycle my garbage. On the other hand I try to spread the idea of cunsume less to save sources and donate more. I probably make no contribution at all but still try.
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      Aug 2 2011: With all due respect, I disagree. You are making a big contribution, by making many 'little' contributions that add up, by setting an example wihich will inspire others, by contributing to the collective change, and by opening yourself up to this conversation. Thank you!
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    Aug 1 2011: I am founder and director of Save A Mothers' Mobile Youth program: an organization that mobilizes young, caring leaders, on college and high school campuses around the nation, against the world's health care issues. The scholastic club fosters socially responsible leaders by giving the organizations great autonomy in their initiatives to aid SaveAMothers' cause: develop health care solutions for the poor. I created it so, because I believe that in order to practice making the right decisions you must first have responsibility or what I see as freedom of choice. If anyone is interested in combating maternal or infant mortality, and gender injustices or promoting family planning, health literacy, sustainable health care solutions, and governed/ government cooperation among many other issues faced in developing countries, feel free to visit http://www.saveamother.org/getinvolved/start-a-mobile-youth-club/
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      Aug 2 2011: Sounds like you are very engaged. I understand, as well, that the issues regarding gender inequality are different in the underrdevelopping world than they are here, and as I volunteer for an organization which is building a maternal unit in its mobile clinic in Senegal, I also understand that there is far more funding available for women and children. I often worry that we are seriously neglecting men and boys, though. Still, sounds like a great group, and I wish you luck. Here's our address: http://www.senegalsantemobile.org/. (So sorry, can't figure out how to do the link thing.) Might be interesting to make a few links between our groups...
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    Jul 31 2011: Just returned from working in a small village in Uganda about a month and a half ago. For work, I work with kids who have a range of behavioral and mental disorders. I hope to find something that makes a significant difference someday!
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      Jul 31 2011: Katie, You might enjoy the documentary "War Dance" about how children used dance and music (grounding in my terminology) to help recover from PTSD. http://www.amazon.com/War-Dance-Dominic/dp/B000ZN71H2/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2TSV9UJLFFD1C&colid=ZVA10QYGCT1M

      I have found that resolving tension and teaching some basic adaptive skills takes care of most behavioral problems and "mental disorders" in children. This DVD shows how this can happen through a creative, culturally appropriate process.
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        Aug 1 2011: Thanks Bob! I actually JUST saw it a few weeks ago and loved it.
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      Jul 31 2011: Less than 5 minutes ago: Working with challenged kids, and helping out in an underdevelopping country (use of words intentional - you can use newer nicer words if you like) definitely count. Thanks to you both!
  • Jul 30 2011: Hello,
    When I am told that someone is great,I usually reply;What did he do for the world?
    For me,spreading consciousness is another way of doing good to the world.When you asked this question Kriss,perhaps many were not aware of such a duty,so you have done good to the world indirectly!
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      Jul 31 2011: Thanks, Imene. I must admit, though, that my intentions were somewhat selfish. I was rather starved for conversation with people who were civically/politically engaged. This conversation has made my world a much better place! Thanks to you all.
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      Jul 31 2011: Less than 5 minutes ago: Sounds like you do a lot in everday life. Thanks, Yaseer. We can't use solar power too much, either, but I recently saw some parking metres in our city that had solar panels on them, so I was encouraged by the small change. Thanks for the contribution!
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    Jul 30 2011: No kids. My only daughter lives with her husband in one of the friendliest environments I have ever been to: Madison, WI. Their apartment on the University campus is surrounded by lakes and woods. Lovely place. Some time ago we were members of Clean Up the World in the institute where I worked. I retired, moved to the capital of the country and I just take care of my plants and try to be conscious about waste. I cannot imagine myself carrying a banner with the inscription: "Do not pollute the air" or "Do not leave taps open". I know there are places where people carry water in buckets, it is not our case. We have to fight unemployment, poverty and disease, care for the elderly people and the abandoned children. Even though we have plenty of drinking water, I guess what it must be to do without it.
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      Jul 31 2011: Less than 5 minutes ago: I know. tons of challenges ahead for us all. Sounds like you are making a difference, though. Thanks very much for the contribution!
  • Jul 29 2011: We can make a positive change in tha world starting by bringing it to our individual existence;by the end,we are part of the world.Human beings constitute what counts most in the world,so if we can make a Life better we are contributing.Helping a friend,advising,smiling,feeding,or saving a life is all included in making the world a better pace to live in.I mean:how can we continue live and be happy if others are 'suffering'?It would be like a space full of devil and blackness!We can aid each other,and the world will certainly be better because we will be one hand...
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      Jul 29 2011: Hi Imene (sorry, can't get accents on my keyboard). I agree with the general sentiments. I would challenge you here though to be specific about what you are presently doing to make the world a better place. I know from your response that you are doing something. How are you helping your friends? How are you feeding people? (Just examples.)
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        Jul 29 2011: Kriss,

        Try "option + e" then "e" and you will get this - é. If that doesn't work you can ...

        Select her name, copy, and paste it and you will get this - Imène.
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          Jul 30 2011: You're brilliant. Many thanks! I've come such a long long way in my tech-skills, but am still lacking in many way. Many thanks again!
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        Jul 30 2011: Hey, I do what I can to make the world a better place.
      • Jul 30 2011: Hello Kriss,
        Thanks for the challenge.Your question has been always attractive:What am I doing to the world?Since I have just my personal power and individual means to bring a difference,I decided to be as helpful as I can to others and nature.When a friend,a sibling,or a stranger comes saying I need your help,I need to talk to you,I need your advise,I need a shelter,I need some money,I need a hug...I try to make him feel better and ease things for him even if all I can do is a hug.I will both be doing my 'mission' in the world and help him accomplish his/hers as long as we function better when we are morally and mentally better.A second example,when I see someone throwing garbage anywhere,I explain why he/she doesn't have to do so.That's something I am fighting for at the very personal level;everyday I come into contact with people who don't care at all about nature.Simply,I do what I can with my personal means to thank the world back!
        Another obvious example is what Mr.Thomas Jones just did!
        Very small jestures may bring big differences on the long term.The will to do good,help,and make the world better is limitless with the ways it may be revealed!
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          Jul 31 2011: Thanks! I appreciate your contribution, both to the conversation and to the world!
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    Jul 29 2011: Wow, Thomas, you travel a lot! Nicholas, one of my best friends works for Canada World Youth, so I am quite familiar with these types of 'working holidays'. I completely agree that this type of holiday, done with a reputable group, can make a huge difference for the local community, but also tends to educate and change the volunteers, who frequently become passionate and involved world citizens afterwards. Thanks for sharing!
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    Jul 29 2011: Many people deal with difficult lives, or periods in their lives. A chance to escape from stress, to relax and to be entertained, can be very important. Thanks, Scott.
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    Jul 29 2011: Yes...although one only has a choice if one is aware of it. In terms of this awareness, parents and guardians are so important. Far too many people raise "children", instead of "raising adults", if you get my meaning. Children can make contributions, can learn to be good citizens, and can feel the pride that being generous provides. Even little things, like teaching your child to give up his/her seat on a bus to an older person, can begin to instill the notion of citizenry and contribution. I'll stop now, as I tend to start ranting when i discuss this topic. Thanks again, Prasanth.
  • Jul 29 2011: From the Start of Human Thinking life, Everyone has make/making a Difference. The Making of Difference by each and every individual itself creates the Current world (good/bad).

    May be its better for all to not make a difference.
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    Jul 29 2011: Thanks for the tip. It will help with the research I am doing and the proposal I want to make to get federal funding to actually develop a city on a larger scale.
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    Jul 29 2011: I am trying to design a city that is based on Equine, human power, and bicycle transportation systems and cars are available outside of the city to commute if a train is not available. Also, trying to get more students to take classes on line so they do not have to use buses and cars to get to school. IfF the model works maybe we can redesign all smaller cities and break up the mega cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Montreal, Paris, London etc.
    Comments?
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      Jul 29 2011: James,

      Two weeks ago I visited Mackinaw Island in Michigan. It´s a place like the one you are dreaming of. Motorized vehicles are prohibited, except for emergency ones. Residents and tourists walk, ride a bike or travel on horse-drawn carriages. The island is reached by ferry. A breathtaking place. Regards.
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    Jul 29 2011: Here's what I do, Kriss Clement:
    I play Free Rice (at freerice.com). I clicked on ads in Ecosia. I joined Gameful and added my ideas to a group called "Visionaries." I read and reread "Element," "We-Think," "Cognitive Surplus," "Biodiversity," "State of the World," and "Our Final Hour" etc.
    I breathe in your CO2, but I can't make food out of it yet. That is, I do the small things like tend to my plants in my yard, and recycle, and Tweet about the Arab Spring. I think about and dream up plans to build systems that follow the Cradle to Cradle motto: Waste equals Food.

    I hope this helps.
    Mark
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      Jul 29 2011: Less than 5 minutes ago: Thanks so much, Mark. (Since you are so kindly breathing in my CO2, I'll make sure to use mouthwash more regularly - God that was a really horrible joke, wasn't it? I guess part of my contribution today will be to make others' jokes look funnier in comparison!) Again, thanks very much.
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    Jul 27 2011: Hello Earl and Kriss,

    I started all this French talk, sorry !! The lack of etiquette is from me, so no need for you to apologize dear Kriss.

    I saw that Kriss was from Montreal, Quebec in Canada, which is where I'm from, so I went on to have a little French talk with a "neighbor".

    But you got all the infos, if interested in the website of the foundation and see the vintage style golf tournament, please google F.I..S.H Corporation Foundation, just because I want to respect TED.com rules. As you suggest, check my profile and click on the link.

    Thank you Earl and please accept MY apology!! Kriss had nothing to do with it...I started it !

    Peace!

    Mireille
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      Jul 27 2011: Oh. didn't know there were rules. My bad again. Oh, and no no non, Mireille, I take full responsibility. Oh, and another thing....:D
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        Jul 28 2011: Such a gentleman Kriss !! Went on your blog, superb actually, you are working hard, nice to see! I did put your blog on my page on linked in. Anything we do with great and kind heart, will always bring out something good.

        Thank you for taking the time to post my event, appreciate it a great deal !! Warms my heart !

        A+
        PS: "Oh, and another thing...:D", could you teach me, i'm not a computer : lol, etc. language! Peace
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    Jul 27 2011: Hello Dear Kriss,
    A gentleman suggested cleaning our environment by collecting the used bottles or garbage
    thrown away by people in the streets or on the roads, o.k.
    Polluting the environment , water or other natural resources are apparent violation of other people’s rights. Beginning a war , destroying lands and building or killing Innocent civilians are other examples. I believe precaution is better than treatment.Our actions for making a better environment are valuable but they are curement of the diseases caused by irresponsible men.New innovations for improving human lives or standard of living and finally acceptable behaviors are required.
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      Jul 27 2011: ...and hello back, dear Ali. I agree that prevention and curing the root causes are imperative. At least making an attempt is critical. I do think that we've got to help a bit with the symptoms, too. Confession time: I became a vegan about ten years ago because I decided that my choices as a consumer were contributing to some of the roots of these problems, and I wanted to start contributing to the solutions (organic and local vegetable farming, for one) and eliminating the causes (big factory farming, especially animal farming). I want to be clear that I am not preaching that everyone should become a vegan, and I do think that there are many solutions to environmental issues. Free-range and organic animal farming has its place in this scheme. I'm simply using this as an example. So, I am challenging you (yup, I'm such a s**t disturber!) - how are you helping to prevent/solve some of the root problems?
  • Jul 27 2011: I use my talents in theater as well as my passion for literature and acting to teach students that the world is a very inspiring and extraordinary place and that they have the talent and ability to make it even more extraordinary.
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      Jul 27 2011: Teaching, mentoring, and providing an outlet for (sometimes at risk) youth counts! Kudos.
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    Jul 27 2011: For those familiar with "Influencer" and "ChangeAnything", I currently am research intern at ChangeAnything.com. Basically I invite people to create positive change (Exercise More, Advance a Career, Quit Smoking/Drinking, etc.) by using the site.
    I've found the personal interaction to be very meaningful in improving the world; cheering people on to lose weights, conversing with a mother of 3 on how to 'reward ourselves' appropriately when we achieve goals. I'd be curious to see
    what others think of this; using an interactive web tool to create positive change.
    By the way, if you want to try the website you can use the coupon code "Workit03"
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    Mati D

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    Jul 27 2011: Kriss, here's the rest of my entry:

    Whatever we can do to transcend our own self-focus in order to give each other our attention, is what is going to make this world a place worth living. We should not get caught up in theories or thinking, but actually go out there and DO things-see the results for ourselves.

    When I care about my friends, I make their world and mine SO much better it's astounding, and they tell me so. I don't have to guess. I can see it on their faces-in their lives. And they can tell when they've made a difference by loving me too. So, loving people is a really obvious & selfless way to make this world a better place.

    Everywhere we go everybody needs a bunch of love and attention. When I go to the store I make friends with the clerks, the gas station attendant, etc. Doing that makes us all feel like we're in the same world, not our own little worlds, and people know that they count, they mean something to you. They're not a number, they're not a role to you. They're a person and they matter. But, it takes NOT being self-focused to make sure people feel that way.
    When I fail to give my attention and just be absorbed in myself, my thoughts, my anxiety, it's blatantly obvious that I'm making the world a WORSE place. My friends start asking me what's going on, they get worried and try to help, AND they don't get their needs met (cause I don’t notice them or don’t care) - and those clerks sure don't get their needs met. It goes on and on. Or, I become like any other unconscious person who treats people unconsciously and thereby hurts them, by ignoring them, by not noticing them, by giving looks or attitudes that are confusing. I mean, that's just normal life, but that's terrible.

    So, what I'm trying to do (and I really feel it's essential for all of us to do) is transcend my own egotism so other people can feel cared about instead. When I do that successfully, I know I'm making a positive difference instead of a negative one.
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      Jul 27 2011: Thanks Mati. I agree that a little kindness goes a very long way, and starting with family, friends, and neighbours (starting locally to spread globally, so to speak) is a practical and acheivable method. I do think that sometimes one has to focus on the needs of self and family (for instance, when experiencing the challengies of extreme poverty), but kindness is something that we can all show, and it does tend to amplify with each 'ripple' (seems to be my word of the week!).
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    Mati D

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    Jul 27 2011: Great topic & discussion, Kriss. People's input has been invaluable. Here's mine -- it's a little long:

    Each one of us needs to transcend our own egoism (selfishness/excessive self-focus) to honestly & effectively make this world a truly better and beautiful place for the human heart. Instead if being self-oriented (worried about taking care of ME, what I want & don't want, how to get my needs met, how I'm reacting to this or that, how I need to get ahead/improve myself) we need to transcend that whole tendency, that whole ego-focused lifestyle and instead live in a way that we agree with entirely.

    Let's face it, doing a few good things here & there, to compensate for a lifestyle that’s basically self-oriented is just NOT going to make a significant difference to this world. But really living FOR other people's care, living to validate people's heart, to love each other, to give ourselves, to transcend ourselves for each other, now that's something important. Know what I mean? The general culture is so full of selfishness, it's hard to see how much we're bought into it & perpetrating the crimes we hate.

    Little things we do make a little difference, but the biggest thing we can do is uplift each other with care. Kriss, just look at how good you feel from all these people giving you so much input, so much personal attention and energy, care. It's been amazing. I can feel how uplifted it has made you that these people cared enough to answer you, and to answer each other. Care is huge! (to be continued...)
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    Jul 27 2011: How Can i Make the world a better place and what am i doing to make it so?

    Interesting Question.

    Well apart from the fact that i cant do anything about all the corruption and multi-million pound industries having their way with whatever it is they want.

    I can be a good person live a good life....? Something along them lines? Sometimes it's not as 'easy' when i saw easy i mean it can be very difficult.

    But what i can do is whenever i can,make people aware of what they're missing out on when they decide to turn on the TV to watch the usual episode of corri... Or Xfactor... Something in which they will be hammered with adverts non-stop and reminding them that there is much more to do with your time then watch other peoples artificial money orientated products.

    I can learn to see things for what they are with more clarity and approach new things with an open heart and develop a thick skin towards things what annoy/hurt me. With experience i will only better my ability to help other people tap into their awareness to see the good from the bad, the pure, from the artificial.

    Not just this but leading by example is key.
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      Jul 27 2011: So, Benjamin, to paraphrase (forgive me), you make the world a better place through critical analysis, kindeness, thoughtful intent, and encouraging others in the same veign? (...and I agree, it would be lovely to be able to do something about big corruption and multi-billion dollar/pound industries!)
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        Jul 28 2011: Perhaps there is a way to influence the behavior of multi-billion dollar/pound industries. This may address corruption, as well, to the degree that those who run these institutions might be held more accountable.
        The proposal is this: the boards of directors should be elected by the employees, rather than stockholders (or their proxy holders). Shareholders, in exchange for turning over power, will be paid first; they get a set %, then a like % goes to employees as "profit sharing, while any remaining profit could go into a community fund.
        Corrupt unions get bypassed, as the employees would be bargaining with themselves. Having a stake in profitability, employees will find ways to safely increase productivity.
        Sound work-able?
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          Jul 28 2011: Less than 5 minutes ago: Less than 5 minutes ago: Less than 5 minutes ago: Oh, this is an amazing idea! I can see some pitfalls, but it would be a vast improviement, in my opinion. So, how are you going to get this started??? How can we all help
  • Jul 26 2011: "Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world, for indeed it is the only thing that ever has."
    Margaret Meade
    She is right, we are amazed at the response. What are you doing to make the world a better place?
    It all starts with the first step
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      Jul 25 2011: I think you put this comment in the wrong place... ;P
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        Jul 25 2011: Damn. Considering how tech-challenged I am, I'm doing pretty well all in all. Still, I goofed. Thanks for letting know! This should have been posted under Steve Fuller's posting. Will make the correction.
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          Jul 25 2011: Yes, I saw where it belonged. ^^
          Goofing, erring and being wrong is part of the process of learning!