Reserving Seats at TEDxTCU

TEDxTCU is right around the corner which means it is time to begin distributing seats!

To reserve your seat for the TEDxTCU event on April 17, please send an email to TEDxTCU@gmail.com beginning at 8 a.m. on April 1. Seats will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis to the 80 people. Please include your name and contact information in your email!

SparkNotes: Email TEDxTCU@gmail.com on April 1 beginning at 8 a.m. to reserve your seat to TEDxTCU!

We’ve Made a Decision!

The big day has finally arrived! For the past week, the Planning Committee has been busy meeting with campus leaders to select five individuals to present at TEDxTCU: Responsible Citizenship. It was a tough decision, but after much consideration, we are excited to introduce our speakers!
Chuck Dunning, TCU Faculty, “A Vow for Speaking with Civility”
Megan Davidson, TCU Faculty, “Quilting the Balance: Integrating All the Pieces into the Whole”
Amberle Durano, TCU Student, “More Than a Good Deed”
Barrington Hwang, TCU Student, “The Greater Good”
Alex Lipari, TCU Student, “Action Towards Enhancement”
Congratulations to these individuals! We are looking forward to hearing more about your ideas on April 17. We would also like extend another thank you to all of our contributors. Without each of these creative individuals, this event would not be possible! Their willingness to share their beliefs with the TCU community is what TED is all about–spreading ideas that can change the world!

Active Citizenship

Recycle. Laugh. Film. Appreciate. Congratulate. Plant. Applaud. Encourage. Motivate. Question. Change. Educate. Understand. Challenge. Praise. Disagree. Confront. Build. Try. Love. Paint. Dance. Smile. Know. Earn. Effect. Consider. Untangle. Manage. Lead.

I could have picked any handful of words. The specific words above are not a complete list nor do they have any specific meaning. I chose all of those words because they are verbs.

I do not know how to define “responsible citizenship.” It is not a term that has one concise, all-inclusive definition.

I only know one thing about the definition and that is the part of speech. Responsible citizenship is a verb, an action.

How you choose to change the world is up to you. The path you pave towards positive change will be impacted by your past, your passions, and your skill-set. No two people see the world in the same way. We would all be bored if we interacted with other people that were exactly like us.

The only way to define that term is to do something. Anything.

Get outside. Get talking. Get moving. At the end of your life the change you impart will be a collection of the words you spoke and the actions you took.

-Kara Lane, TCU Student

Love in Action

“Someone once told me, “Enjoy every moment of college because it goes by unbelievably fast”. As cliché as it might sound, I have come to experience this bittersweet reality as I embark on my last months at TCU. It’s beginning to sink in as this journey is coming to an end and my next, well, is to take what I’ve learned and do something.

But what exactly am I supposed to do with my life?

As much as I don’t believe there’s a simple standard answer for all of humanity, I’m going to propose one: we are called as responsible citizens to be love in action. Regardless of where you are or what you do, invest in joy- use your skills and talents to do what you truly love and in the process, make the world a more beautiful place.

“The purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others…you cannot do much about the length of your life, but you can do a lot about it’s depth and width.”

I believe as the next generation, it is our responsibility to passionately pursue our dreams. With brilliant, innovative ideas, youthful drive and vigorous perspectives, how can we dare to let our dreams be just dreams?
We have our whole lives ahead of us.

We have been given the wonderful and rare opportunity to pursue an education – to have the tools, knowledge and freedom to do something marvelous and our futures are a new chapter – a blank slate that is waiting to be painted, colored and scribbled all over.

It’s not a ridiculously radical idea but I feel sometimes we need to be reminded:
We only have one life, so where will we leave our mark?”

- Cassie Torrecillas, TCU Student

Here’s to Radicals

Radicals are among the most responsible of citizens. A provocative statement, but didn’t Shakespeare say something about a rose being called by other names once? The term “radical” evokes many a connotation but I find the etymology of the word fascinating and conceptually useful. Radical derives from the Latin adjective radicalis which translates as “of or having roots,” along with the Latin word radix which literally means “root”.

While the modern use of the word has taken a decidedly more politicized meaning than its Latin origins, I still find these origins useful in understanding what it means to embrace the label “radical”. The 21st Century (post)modern day radical is a person capable of effectively articulating the root of modern social woes or systemic oppressive forces within institutions and social structures. Articulation alone does not make one a radical however. At the center of responsible citizenship, and radicalness, is a call to action.

The radical person must not only be able to articulate things but they must also be able to devise strategies in which to maximize their individual, and in turn collective, impact to change the way the society they are a citizen of operates. The strategies and tactics these individuals employ are varied in terms of their objectives and whether they are operating within or outside of formal systems, among other variables. Operation outside formal systems typically equates to being labeled by those systems as radicals, anarchists, “ecoterrorists”, but what was that about a rose?

-Jordan Mazurek, TCU Student

 

So what’s next?

Happy Tuesday TCU! We hope everyone enjoyed Spring Break. It’s hard to believe that TEDxTCU is right around the corner!

As of last night, we have officially ended our blog competition. We would like to thank our contributors for taking the time to share their ideas about responsible citizenship with the Horned Frog community! The willingness of these individuals to speak out about their beliefs on our theme is what makes TEDxTCU possible!

Over the next week, we will be working with various groups on campus to select five speakers for the TEDxTCU: Responsible Citizenship event on April 17. The chosen individuals will be notified as soon as the decision is finalized. If you are interested in attending the event, please continue to follow this blog and our Twitter (@TEDxTCU) for more information about registration.

Thanks for the support TCU!

Action Towards Enhancement

The value of one’s life can be found in the legacy they leave. This legacy is not always physically evident in material form but can be appreciated in lives impacted.  To be a responsible citizen one must formulate action that leads to enhancement of other’s lives. To simply remain idle or neglect to partake in harmful and detrimental actions is not enough, action towards improvement is demanded.

It may not yet, but will hopefully soon be common knowledge that there are over 27 million people trapped in modern day slavery throughout the world. If you asked almost anyone they would boldly proclaim they are against slavery of any kind. However, their actions speak otherwise. With a little research one can discover how their lifestyle and spending habits directly allow slavery to exist. Armed with this knowledge, failure to positively respond is a failure of responsibility. Without taking action towards enrichment one cannot be a responsible citizen.  

This is just one example. At the same time, a person does not have to be Superman to be a responsible citizen. Raising awareness, donating finances and volunteering time are obvious and simple ways to take a stand against injustice and prove responsibility.

I will end with what I believe to be bold truths, with the hope that tough love will spur us to action.

-       If you are not sacrificing any part of yourself to improve the lives of others you are not being a responsible citizen.

-       If you cannot confidently say you are leaving a positive legacy, you are not acting as a responsible citizen.

-       Acting as a responsible citizen is not always easy or fun or enjoyable, but is ultimately beneficial for you and others.

Collectively, responsible citizenship can radically enrich the world. Take part. Leave a legacy.

- Alex Lipari, TCU Student

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When You Wish Upon a Star

I firmly believe that I obtained numerous life lessons from Disney Movies. It is a fact, I am a child of the 90s and I embrace it.

When we first met Wall-E in 2008, Pixar introduces us to a robot left on earth to clean up waste left by mankind. Wall-E is not a responsible citizen because he picks up trash; instead he exhibits self-less behavior, pursuing the overall benefit of humanity. A responsible citizen contributes self-less acts hoping society improves collectively.

“It means no worries, for the rest of your days.” While Timon and Pumbaa celebrate Hakuna Matata, some worry the idea is fairly irresponsible. As a culture we associate worries with responsibilities, obscuring our definition of responsible citizenship. Alternately, Hakuna Matata is a lesson in optimism. New viewpoints transform worries into opportunities. A responsible citizen continuously seeks new opportunities to elicit change.

I know the ultimate act of loyalty? I’m confident it’s writing another’s name on the bottom of your shoe. Since 1995, Woody has stayed dedicated to Andy. Woody understands as time progresses, the environment around us changes. Adapting to these changes required Woody to trust Andy. As the social landscape changes, a responsible citizen stays loyal to their neighbors, family, and their inner code of ethics.

Movies, just like responsible citizens, inspire us. They make us think about how to make the world a better place. “Dig a little deeper. Think of something we’ve never though of before.” – Winnie the Pooh

-Will Hardy, TCU Student

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Everyone Has A Story

I have a confession. I love strangers. There’s just something about not knowing any piece or particle of a person’s story, knowing it’s yet to be discovered.

About a year ago, I made a midnight-approaching-store-closing-soon Kroger run. We’ve all been there. But this time, somewhere between the end of the frozen meat aisle and the dairy case, I met an elderly gentleman from the former Soviet Union. I don’t remember his name, but I will never forget his story. Here before me stood a man speaking of political turmoil and alienation from his home- pain I will never know. He has lived in this country for years, and still feels like a stranger. Having a college girl in Chacos listen to his problems didn’t make them go away. But maybe, just maybe, those ten minutes of listening on my part made an impact on this man’s life.

So how does listening to a stranger in Kroger relate to responsible citizenship? Actually, I think listening to a stranger in Kroger is the essence of responsible citizenship. Sometimes it’s not about fancy terms or high-level thinking. Sometimes, we have to take it back to the basics and remember that, at our core, we are all human. Sometimes what a person needs most is someone to acknowledge their dignity, to hear their story. We all have a story, and I believe in a world where responsible citizens are willing to listen to those stories, even in the middle of a grocery aisle.

-Molly Johnson, TCU Student

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Awareness. Empathy. Action.

Responsible citizens must be aware of the issues that impact their communities. Awareness doesn’t happen through osmosis but through effort. From paying attention to local and national news, to asking friends about local happenings, awareness entails proactivity to learn about the issues facing other people.

It’s relatively easy to address issues that only affect oneself, but it’s much more difficult to take ownership of issues that seemingly only affect others. This is where empathy comes in. The innovative non-profit Ashoka dedicates an entire program to teaching empathy, because it knows that empathy is a necessary precursor to action. Empathetic people intellectually commit to “a day in someone else’s shoes” and in so doing recognize the importance of standing up for others.

Empathy that leads to action is a form of enlightened selflessness.  All of our empathic feelings and knowledge mean nothing until we willfully pursue action; therefore, responsible citizens are people who translate intellectual responsibility into action, by moving beyond the realm of self and pursuing the greater good with and through other people.

Responsible citizens often champion a cause or multiple causes. Without awareness and empathy, great leaders like Lincoln, MLK, and Gandhi would never have been driven to act. And without action, the greatest citizens in human history would be unknown to us, the possibilities of their impact relegated to mere thoughts in their heads.

Awareness + Empathy + Action = Responsible Citizenship

- Josh Simpson, TCU Student

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