Yesterday at TED

TEDX Burlington went very well, yesterday.


There were six speakers on the program and several videos from other TED events. Overall the audience in the Burlington Performing Arts Centre seemed receptive and enthusiastic.


I led off the event, talking about our Teachers of Compassion, our Teachers of the Heart. I introduced Angeles Arrien's archetype of the Four-Chambered Heart–the Full, Open, Clear and Strong Heart– from indigenous cultures.


I also told the story of John Albrecht, a man who changed my life for the better by teaching me to challenge my assumptions. I met John on the sidewalk in downtown Toronto. He sold me a postcard that he had painted. That began a four-year friendship that only ended when John died of a massive stroke.


John was a panhandler and a schizophrenic, ate raw garlic and wore shorts all year round. I learned how to see past superficial appearances and learn to love someone as different from me as night is from day.


John was a genius of relationship despite his circumstances. I'll never forget the lessons I learned from this man.


Highlights of TEDX included Arthur Fleishmann's talk on The Power of the Unspoken, about learning that his autistic daughter was a deep and complex personality although she could not talk. It was a very moving story.


Michael Jones, a friend, talked about an extraordinary conversation that changed his life. A stranger approached him when he was playing the piano and encouraged him to leave his job as a management consultant and become a full-time artist. Today, Michael is a Juno award winner.


Dr. Jean Chamberlain Froese gave a moving talk about her work on the importance of Mothers and Women's Reproductive Rights in Uganda. Scott Graham talked about Bullying and his work in Toronto schools. And Trish Barbato presented on Everday Courage.


My thanks to the Organizing Committee of Spencer Campbell, Cathy Allen, Frances Hillier, Debra Pickfield of ThinkSpot, and Dave Zylich and Ryan Jaques.


I'll post the link when it is available.


© Patrick O’Neill 2012. All rights reserved.

Posted on May 28, 2012 and filed under Uncategorized.