Beyond Honored, Beyond Excited, and Beyond Scared

In the next few weeks, I will be taking the stage for TEDx Philadelphia (May 15th) and a similarly styled show called Speakers Who Dare in NYC (March 26th). Speakers Who Dare was created by the former producers of TEDx Lincoln Square. They wanted more creative control so they launched their own talk series. I am so excited to be part of their inaugural show. And, of course, as a HUGE fan of TED and TEDx, I cannot believe that I will actually be a speaker.

But now I’m also starting to get incredibly nervous. A lot of my friends have said, “But this is what you do for a living.” And I always respond, “But it’s not.” In my role as a journalist, I tell OTHER people’s stories. I don’t generally share my own opinions or thoughts. And I’m not used to having an entire 8 to 18 minutes of a script to deliver.. all me.. in front of a live audience of more than 1000 people!

But I am most nervous because I feel a great responsibility to use these opportunities to craft a talk that really resonates and inspires. I hope I’m up to the task. Certainly I will do my absolute best to try.

I feel desperately that we need to change the way we approach our differences. Hatred is erupting in the ugliest of ways and we are so terribly divided, aren’t we? It strikes me pretty much every time I walk around the city. Just yesterday, I was with my husband and our two small children.. There was a nasty altercation between a pedestrian and a driver (yes, not unlike the situation that sparked my #ThisIsAmerica journey). I highly doubt their anger was triggered over who had the right of way.. I imagine there was already a rage bubbling beneath the surface for both of them… and over a myriad of other issues that had nothing to do with the actual incident we all witnessed.

And the more I talk to people, the more I realize we could all improve. People of all parties, all colors, all religions, all sexual preferences.. We all contribute to this ugliness.. but we can all work on making things better, too. Including me.

For more information on Speakers Who Dare and TEDx Philadelphia, please click below.