Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Shimon Schocken's rides of hope

Rating: ****

This TED talk may not necessarily be very well presented or very well recorded, but it was very inspirational, and its message and moral was very heartwarming. Inmates being changed completely, and being changed into better people. They would finally realize what their life was about and who they really were. To finally have respect and have others look up to you in a leadership role. Incredible article.

The TED talk was about a story of a computer programmer by profession, changed the lives of these broken teenagers. The story is about how he would go for weekly bike rides in Israel, find spectacular vistas and views, and take a nice break from life in general. One day though, he passed a jail, which was in the middle of nowhere. It had barbed wire, electric fences, and armed guards. He somehow talked his way to the warden, and after some talk, was able to convince him and managed to let him bring some of the inmate, most of which were teenagers. To go on mountain biking trips and explore these vistas and sceneries like he does so often. At first they were so uninspired. They would fall or be face to face with a huge steep hill. The man goes on and on to talk about how, all their life they have failed, and most of which would run away or be sent away from their home country, and be stuck on the streets of israel. Which in almost all cases wouldn’t work out very well for them. They would find themselves stuck in gangs, stealing habit or worse. He goes on to talk about how each time they would have a tantrum, that the worst thing you could to is walk away, that’s what adults did to them their entire lives. He would get close, offer them some chocolate, and then get on with it and keep going. This man really did change their lives and become changed better people.

The article for me was very inspirational, and also a relief. It really helped with my hope in humanity, and that most people who are in these prisons are just very down on their luck, or in emotional pain that most of us couldn’t come close to even imaging. The photos that were presented during the presentation were incredible. Going over dunes of rock and sand in a desert, biking up mountains, on the side of cliff faces, and also enjoying the views across enormous caverns, It inspired me to try biking again and to keep it up weekly. Not sure that our scenery and trails will be anywhere close to as adventurous as theirs, but I still have hope. One technique that the man was talking about was that each time before they went on to to their trip they would offer everyone in the group one word. Whether that word was determination, drive, teamwork, or any other broad word that can inspire to keep going and can promote good leadership and healthier relations with peers, Some of his closing statements were that these trips would restore their love in their country, their friends, and most of all themselves. Because at the time most of them had nothing. Anyways, I find this talk very inspirational and heart warming. The next time I do any type of physical work or adventure I will try this method of inspiration of choosing a word and repeating it as I do the work. The article is hard to explain in words, and probably can only be well expressed through a video to truly understand the magnitude of this achievement and project.

Ted Presented by Shimon Schocken

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