At what I thought was a routine appointment in 2004, I met my little white blob face-to-face for the first time: A golf ball-sized brain tumor had lodged itself behind my right inner ear, intertwined with the delicate, wet-tissue-paper strands of my hearing, balance and facial nerves for what the doctors guessed was five years before it was found.
We often mistake the artificial chemical and psychological thrill of fake edges for the real. In fact we often seek them out as a substitute for the reality of change, growth and exploration. Our minds and bodies help us in this, as they react much the same to this simulations as to the real world. Thus we scream in horror movies or amusement park rides and get a rush from blowing up the bad guys in video games.
Once you start to understand what motivates people to engage with your content - whether that's a video, a blog post or some other experience - you can begin to build vibrant communities of participation. And today, since almost everything we do involves technology, it's getting easier and easier to determine what those motivators are.
I believe that TED Youth and YouTube together have great potential -- to inspire youth to use these powerful platforms to change the world and tell great stories. Moreover, as a psychologist who studies how these simple and easily accessible online tools shape youth values, I thought he missed an opportunity to inspire the youth who were so eagerly listening to his speech.
I know I should savor this time with my son, like a peppermint, but I can't help myself. If I've experienced something noteworthy, I want to write about it. And so I walk that tightrope all writers must walk: to live in the moment in order to experience life or to come out of the moment in order to write about it.
I absolutely believe that we need policies and legislation that support working families, like paid sick days, affordable childcare and eldercare, family leave policies, and fair pay. But I also believe those of us who have the opportunity to make choices can better serve those of us who cannot, when we stop doing what we think we should do, and start doing what works for us
We live at a time that has many of its values positioned upside down. The least important things, we think and talk about the most, while, the most important things, we think and talk about the least. Current values force dedicated teachers, nurses, and blue-collar workers to live in obscure poverty, while young media entrepreneurs and entertainers compete for vast fame and fortune.
From 30 years of my colleagues and myself working with children with cerebral palsy, I find that by providing their brain with abundant new information, they become brilliant learners and the seemingly miraculous begins happening, just like with Maysoon. Current brain research validates that the "impossible" can become possible for many of these children.