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In my darkest moments with MCS — TED talks became my light. Your comments when you view my Sunday “Mostly Photos” for the week — that my town is beautiful — gave me my purpose. I have posted some of these before — but these TED talks were what inspired me that I am more than my disability. And certainly that I am one individual alone in the world. It will take me a few posts to share all the ones that truly motivated me. I hope they inspire you to find your purpose if you don’t know what it is and more importantly to stop waiting for someone else to make changes. After you watch these talks — you’ll see the diverse groups of people who didn’t wait for someone else to be the change that was needed.

Dave Meslin: The Antidote to Apathy (7:05)

These are such doable changes. One of the issues that repeatedly was broached at our Fulton FYI meetings was how do you know what is going on in town? We do have a local paper but not everyone receives the paper and if like me you have MCS one avoids newsprint. If one does find out about an event — would you feel like you were personally being invited to participate or would you feel excluded by the way the information was presented?

Dave Troy: Social Maps that reveal a city’s intersections — and separations (5:28)

This talk shows how social media can reveal the way people segregate themselves from other members of their community. This piqued my interest since we have such a small town. Would our town have a relatively homogeneous grouping or distinctly heterogeneous grouping? How could we use this information to raise community spirit?

Amanda Burden: How Public Spaces Make Cities Work (18:28)

It might seem counter-intuitive to look for fixes in a city of 11,000 people in the planning of a city the size of New York. In this talk, however, the point is made that not only do we need to look at how the space will need to be laid out for the future but the tiniest details of a public space can make a difference. If we want a stronger sense of community we need to have the members of a community interact and where better to do that but in beautiful inviting public spaces.

What is your favorite TED talk? What do you think it would take to inspire someone who complains about a problem to shift to a person who takes action concerning the problem?