What would be your great insights from your unique life experiences? Social media knows and utilizes how we are intertwined, interdependent and overlapping. Whether you are finding information from the blogosphere, sharing your current status or creating a web of professional contacts, you are connecting and learning. There is a great expanse and beauty that our collective consciousness can enlighten.
Without discussing social media in its standard form, Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, I will share a little about how I use social media. Social media is where I find camaraderie, inspiration, and plenty more through a different sort of network. Essentially what you are passionate about met with the same thing others are passionate about can create ultimate collaboration as Simon Sinek proclaims, “When we are surrounded by people who believe what we believe, something happens, trust emerges”. This comfort allows us to explore, be curious and trust in our community to offer and receive from us what we would offer and receive with them.
I was lucky enough to stumble upon the site TED.com in which the general concept is Ideas Worth Spreading. TED, an acronym for technology entertainment and design, is growing exponentially in community size since it went public with the annual conference’s 18-minute talks five years ago. There holds potential for nurses to take advantage of the trans-disciplinary community both to receive new ways of seeing the systems of the world, as well as to allow others to see nurses in a new light. I can honestly say the TED experience has shaped if not who I am, how I think, and I am wiser for it. TED.com has a quiet yet intense power of attracting people of all disciplines, all walks of life, people from all parts of the globe. In this community we have the opportunity to open our minds to the stories of the world and become united in action.
Sheryl Sandberg’s talk entitled, Why We Have too Few Women Leaders, is one instance of a talk I watched a second and a third time. Her talk reignites a light inside, reminding me, the power within myself and within each of us- if only we were to sit at the table. Sandberg’s talk taught me a very important lesson on not underestimating myself. Sandberg tells stories of those who choose to stand along the wall, rallying for the viewers to sit at the table. This is one of my mantras now to sit at the table; thinking of this helps me lose my ego that sets boundaries of how much my voice is worth. This is an amazing gift of valuing myself, and my voice.
Many talks help me understand patient perspectives and potential obstacles to wellness in today’s healthcare system. Thomas Goetz does this in his 18 minute talk, How to Redesign Medical Data. Goetz discusses and gives solutions for, behavior change and the problem of compliance in medicine. Ironically, he is not in the field of medicine, he is an editor for wired magazine. This is the power of being involved in social media, a network of trans-disciplinary minds, because sometimes it takes someone outside looking in to make a bold step forward.
The last talk I will mention is about the concept of compassion. Krista Tippett walks through compassion, as it is the core of what shapes our culture. In her talk entitled Reconnecting With Compassion, Tippet says, “Compassion is also curious. Compassion cultivates and practices curiosity.” She speaks on how compassion “is never in the first instance about changing the world; it’s in the first instance about changing ourselves.” In this talk Tippet eloquently paints the story of compassion exampled by various people from a variety of backgrounds including Mother Teresa, Ghandi, Rachel Naomi Remen and Einstein. She shares with us how Rachel Naomi Remen stated about the light inside everyone, “this is an important and empowering story for our time, because this story insists that each and every one of us, frail and flawed as we may be, inadequate as we may feel, has exactly what’s needed to help repair the part of the world that we can see and touch.” This is the true heart of nursing for me, the part that enlists us each to this calling. I feel we, as nurses, bring this heart into the practice of medicine everywhere, as often as we can.
Beyond the talks, the TED.com community is growing in it's ability to collaborate, connect and inspire. I see the potential for our voice, the voice of nursing to commune globally here. I invite everyone to explore more than the talks posted, to also interact in the 'conversations'. I am finding strong support for my ideas and for the profession on the site. Joe Delsen, from the community, responded to my thoughts with "nursing care is of the excellent example of how our love can concretely translate in making our world a better place.". Delsen, in asking me to share my insights, said about the online community, "It's about letting our minds go free to understand anything beyond our own perspectives. Our own perspective being our limited life experiences that may have afforded us.". I will leave you with some words from Florence Nightingale, "This is not individual work. A real nurse sinks self. Remember we are not so many small selves, but members of a community".