I Am Because of You. I Hunger Because You Hunger.

by Tish Valles

I have the great fortune of serving as organizer and programming director for TEDxNewYorkSalon. We are a thriving community that has met almost week since 2009 for thought-provoking conversation and reflection. Last week, we kicked off our 2014 season with a salon I facilitated. Unlike most other TEDx programs which host larger conferences, our community is all about creating and cultivating a safe space for thinkers, doers and change agents to have the harder, more intimate and provocative conversations. No two Fridays are ever the same, and the experience remains a wonderful way for me to shift into weekend mode.

We had such a magical salon on Friday that I HAD TO write about it here. Boyd Varty speaking from the heart to remind us all about the collective and the core South African value of Ubuntu set the tone.

"In the cathedral of the wild, we get to see the best parts of ourselves reflected back to us." Boyd Varty, a wildlife activist, shares stories of animals, humans and their interrelatedness, or "ubuntu" -- defined as, "I am, because of you."


Ubuntu. I am because you are. 


Together we reflected upon what each of us hungers for in 2014. As a community, we held a space for everyone's hunger as we launched into the new season and the new year fired up by our highest ideals, by our deepest hopes for ourselves and each other. Still in this spirit, still in this space of connectedness I offer to you this promise:


I am because you are. I hunger because you hunger.


When we stand in our best light. our deepest desires have the power to propel us forward. As we stand in this space between the calendar new year and the lunar new year, let us be inspired by our highest ideals and deepest hopes.

May the 2014 and the year of the Wooden Horse bring us all closer to our aspirations.