life

Listen to the whisper by Steven Spielberg

Dreams always come from behind you, not right between your eyes. It sneaks up on you. But when you have a dream, it doesn’t often come at you screaming in your face, “This is who you are, this is what you must be for the rest of your life.” Sometimes a dream almost whispers. And I’ve always said to my kids, the hardest thing to listen to—your instincts, your human personal intuition—always whispers; it never shouts. Very hard to hear. So you have to every day of your lives be ready to hear what whispers in your ear; it very rarely shouts. And if you can listen to the whisper, and if it tickles your heart, and it’s something you think you want to do for the rest of your life, then that is going to be what you do for the rest of your life, and we will benefit from everything you do.

Steven Spielberg

Your Value

US $20 Series 2006 Reverse

A well known speaker started off his seminar by holing up a $20 bill.

In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?”

Hands started going up. He said, “I’m going to give this $20 bill to one of you – but first, let me do this.”

He proceeded to crumple the 20 dollar note up. He then asked, “Who still wants it?”

Still the hands were up in the air.

“Well”, he replied, “What if I do this?”

He dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty, “Now, who still wants it?”

Still the hands went in the air.

“My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless, but no matter what happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.”

– Unknown

Students learn a powerful lesson about privilege, with a recycling bin and some scrap paper

A high school teacher wanted to share an important life lesson with his students.

But a dull lecture just wouldn’t do. So he planned a simple interactive exercise. All he needed was some scrap paper for each student and a recycling bin at the front of the room.

He set up the exercise by telling the class that they represent the country’s population and everyone has a chance to get rich. But there was a catch:

“To move into the upper class, all you must do is throw your wadded-up paper into the bin while sitting in your seat.”

The results were about what you’d expect. Most of the students in the front made it into the bin, and most of the students in the back didn’t.

The teacher explained: “The closer you were to the recycling bin, the better your odds. This is what privilege looks like.”

Understandably, the only students who complained about fairness were those in the back of the room.

Students in the front of the room, however, focused only on the task at hand with little consideration for their advantage — their privilege.

That’s how privilege works. It can give us clearer insight into both our present and future. But it can also distract us from the challenges people behind us face in pursuit of the same goals.

In that sense, people with privilege can themselves be an obstacle to social mobility for the underprivileged.

The teacher concluded with a statement that gets to the heart of the matter:
“Your job as students who are receiving an education is to be aware of your privilege and use this particular privilege called ‘education’ to do your best to achieve great things, all the while advocating for those in the rows behind you.”

Source

“I See Something” by Dananjaya Hettiarachchi – 2014 World Championship Of Public Speaking 1st Place Winner

You and I are not very different from this flower. Just like this flower is unique, you are unique. All of us have something special that makes us as beautiful. Do you know what makes you special?

Now the answer to that can be a little difficult of find, because sometimes life has a cruel way of picking out your petals, breaking you in two and throwing you into the trash. Now when you’re broken, it’s very difficult to feel special.

Mr. Contest Chair, my fellow flowers. I can remember the first time I broke. I was seventeen years old. I had already flunked high school and managed to get myself arrested. Now, I wasn’t afraid of the cops, but there was one person I was very afraid of and that was my mama. Raise your hand if you had an emotional mother. Let me see. Put them all together you get my mama. I can hear her scream outside the police station. Even the cops were afraid. She came up to me, held the iron bars, looked into my eyes and I saw a tear coming down her face.

Now I’ve seen my mama crying before, but mothers cry three types of tear: tears of joy, tears of sorrow and tears of shame. And when a son sees a mother cry tears of shame, that’s a life changing moment. She looked at me and said “son, I want to be a better man”. That night when I drove home my dad was waiting for me at home. Now my dad is a cool dad. Raise your hand if you have a cool dad. Put them all together you get my dad. My dad came up to me and said “son it’s okay. You flunked your exams. You already got arrested. That’s fine. You get that from your mother side. I want you to start working immediately”. And I said, okay.

So my dad took me to meet one his friends called Sam. Now, Sam was an accountant who had an accounting firm and had generously decided to make me his personal assistant and there he was. He looked like a teddy bear, but this man was special. I looked at him and he looked at me and then he said the most amazing thing. He said “son, I see something in you, but I don’t know what it is. If you decide to work with me, I can help you find that something”. And I was like, wow, that’s the first time in my whole life somebody has ever told they see something in me and I started working for Sam. And everyday after work he used to tell me stories about the world, about history, about culture, about philosophy and it was much more interesting than what I learned in school. And I discovered I can dream and I started dreaming, ladies and gentleman. After one year I went back into high school, completed my exams and went into college.

After successfully completing college I found a great girl, but not a job. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. Have you ever had that problem? And when you’re lost it’s difficult to feel special. So I went back to my cool dad and I said “dad, I feel lost”. He said, “you are like your mother.” So my dad introduced me to this strange club that had a strange name, with strange people – talking.

On the first meeting they told me to do something called a table topic. I aced it! But while I was speaking I see a strange man seated in the back row, humble, simple, the unfailing quality of kindness in his eyes. As soon I finished he walked up to me, looked me dead straight in the eye and said, “son, I see something in you, but I don’t know what it is. If you come here twice a month maybe we can find that something.”

And ladies and gentlemen, I discovered I could speak and I love speaking and that led me to become a teacher. I know what it’s like to not have enough money in your bank account. I know what it’s like to worry when the bills start coming in. And sometimes in the middle of the night I wake up my beautiful wife and ask her “honey, why did you marry me?” She says, “I saw something in you, but I still I don’t know what it is?”

Ladies and gentleman today I’m a dreamer, I’m a speaker and I learned the unfailing quality of unconditional love from my wife.

I was broken and I’ve been broken, lost and broke many times in my life, but the people in my life were able to reach into the trash can and make me whole again. If it was up to me, I would have never been able to do that. And this is why if you have great people in your life no matter how broke, how lost or how broken you become they can piece you back together.

Ladies and gentleman, when I look at you I see something in you, but I don’t know what it is? Over to you.

Transcript Source: http://lybio.net/dananjaya-hettiarachchi-i-see-something-2014-world-championship-of-public-speaking-1st-place-winner/people/

 

We teach life, sir

Today, my body was a TV’d massacre.

Today, my body was a TV’d massacre that had to fit into sound-bites and word limits.

Today, my body was a TV’d massacre that had to fit into sound-bites and word limits filled enough with statistics to counter measured response.

And I perfected my English and I learned my UN resolutions.

But still, he asked me, Ms. Ziadah, don’t you think that everything would be resolved if you would just stop teaching so much hatred to your children?

Pause.

I look inside of me for strength to be patient but patience is not at the tip of my tongue as the bombs drop over Gaza.

Patience has just escaped me.

Pause. Smile.

We teach life, sir.

Rafeef, remember to smile.

Pause.

We teach life, sir.

We Palestinians teach life after they have occupied the last sky.

We teach life after they have built their settlements and apartheid walls, after the last skies.

We teach life, sir.

But today, my body was a TV’d massacre made to fit into sound-bites and word limits.

And just give us a story, a human story.

You see, this is not political.

We just want to tell people about you and your people so give us a human story.

Don’t mention that word “apartheid” and “occupation”.

This is not political.

You have to help me as a journalist to help you tell your story which is not a political story.

Today, my body was a TV’d massacre.

How about you give us a story of a woman in Gaza who needs medication?

How about you?

Do you have enough bone-broken limbs to cover the sun?

Hand me over your dead and give me the list of their names in one thousand two hundred word limits.

Today, my body was a TV’d massacre that had to fit into sound-bites and word limits and move those that are desensitized to terrorist blood.

But they felt sorry.

They felt sorry for the cattle over Gaza.

So, I give them UN resolutions and statistics and we condemn and we deplore and we reject.

And these are not two equal sides: occupier and occupied.

And a hundred dead, two hundred dead, and a thousand dead.

And between that, war crime and massacre, I vent out words and smile “not exotic”, “not terrorist”.

And I recount, I recount a hundred dead, a thousand dead.

Is anyone out there?

Will anyone listen?

I wish I could wail over their bodies.

I wish I could just run barefoot in every refugee camp and hold every child, cover their ears so they wouldn’t have to hear the sound of bombing for the rest of their life the way I do.

Today, my body was a TV’d massacre

And let me just tell you, there’s nothing your UN resolutions have ever done about this.

And no sound-bite, no sound-bite I come up with, no matter how good my English gets, no sound-bite, no sound-bite, no sound-bite, no sound-bite will bring them back to life.

No sound-bite will fix this.

We teach life, sir.

We teach life, sir.

We Palestinians wake up every morning to teach the rest of the world life, sir.”

– Rafeef Ziadah

Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKucPh9xHtM