Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]
Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]
Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]
Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]
Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]
Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]
By going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed modern slavery's penetration into the global economy. He co-founded Free the Slaves, which has helped to liberate thousands of slaves. [www.freetheslaves.net]
Sophie Chiche, lifebyme.com founder and curator, enjoys asking deep questions and living a life of meaning. Today she's launching Shape House, an urban sweat lodge, a place to melt away fears and fat. [www.shapehousela.com]
Entrepreneur and writer Mastin Kipp founded TheDailyLove.com, which merges pop culture with inspiration, and co-founded The Love Yourself Company, an apparel company that has started a global self-esteem movement. [www.TheDailyLove.com]
Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is Chairman of The Elders, a group of world leaders who address some of the world's most pressing problems. He works energetically for human-rights and in his ministry. [www.tutu.org]
Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]
Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]
Kia Miller teaches Yoga at Yoga Works in Los Angeles, leads teacher trainings, and runs retreats and workshops on meditation, chakras, pranayam, and mantras, and other practices. [www.kiamiller.com]
Simon Mainwaring is an ex-Nike/Wieden creative, former Worldwide Creative Director at Motorola/Ogilvy, branding/advertising writer, author/speaker/blogger, Australian, idea geek. [www.simonmainwaring.com]
Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]
Grammy-nominated art director/designer/photographer Mathieu Bitton has designed over 450 CDs and movie posters. He's a renowned collector of and authority on black films and their soundtracks. [www.candytangerine.com]
Opus Reps founder and agent-producer Jorge Perez travels the world producing photo shoots with great photographers and celebrities. He's also very involved with Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. www.opusreps.com
Children are so important to me. They’re our future. There’s so much we can learn from them and so much we can teach them. We need to give children at every age more credit in our society for what they can teach us. And it’s up to us to show them how to go forward and create a kinder, gentler society.
I’ve always had a natural gift around children and wanted to spend time with them. I’m not from a big family, but I grew up babysitting and have always been able to see them, appreciate them, and get on their level. Even today, if I go to a party where there are children, I can be found upstairs reading with them or bouncing on the trampoline in my cocktail dress.
Here’s an example of children being able to teach us: When my son – who’s 23 now – was about three, he was in a car seat in the back as I was driving. I was complaining about the traffic. He spoke up and said, “Mom, why are you complaining? It’s not going to make the traffic move faster. You can either be miserable or you can take this time to sing with me or tell me a story.”
There are lots of things I never would have done as an adult unless I’d had a child who wanted me to do things. When we grow up, we tend to become so concerned about what other people think about us. Kids don’t have that. They dance on the sidewalk by themselves, totally happy.
Sometimes people do lose their way. They lose the confidence to follow their passions, so they end up not doing what they want to be doing and being unhappy. Failure can sometimes seem easier than success, but we have to believe in ourselves enough to take chances. There’s always room for improvement. There are always more possibilities.
We’re all in this together. I try to be accepting of people, to embrace our differences and not be judgmental, to look for the best in people. When we take time to find out who someone is and where they came from, we’re a lot more likely to be compassionate and understanding.
Children are full of possibilities. So are we. So is everyone. That’s why I take the time to really look at people before I make decisions about who they are.
– Pamela Caffray
Explore More Meaning
shoeologist. meaning maven. ted x'ers.
Shannon Bindler describes her pal, Soph, as a bridge, connecting countless people. Sophie Chiche describes her pal, Shan-Shan, as the sunshine that enters the room. In December of 2012 they presented their TEDxMalibu talk. [Happy Parents of Children who Live Out Loud]