Return to Communications Center

How We Can Inspire

Sheryl Winarick believes that we should all think of ourselves as ambassadors of hope. In today’s world, our concept of “otherness” influences us in ways that we’ve grown accustomed to. When we are afraid of the “other,” we tend to isolate ourselves and make generalizations that aren’t based on correct information. The media is our primary source of information about different groups, but it doesn’t accurately portray groups of individuals. Instead, we hear newsworthy stories that we tend to associate with an entire group.



When people are scared of the “other,” accurate facts, stories, and statistics about a particular group may not mean anything to them. The best way to combat stereotypes is to meet different people face-to-face. Winarick mentions the quote “hurt people hurt people.” Patterns of pain get passed on from person to person. We tend to talk about people instead of talking with people.


Winarick argues that there are two forces inside of us: the force that seeks to divide us, and the force that seeks to unite us. They come from feelings of fear and hope within us. While fear is a reaction, hope is an aspiration. Thus, she comes up with a quote of her own: “Inspired people inspire people.”


Immigrants all over the United States are inspiring. They are starting new companies, creating jobs in the workforce, and more. It is up to us to create a new perspective by getting to know our “others.” The ways we think and act create a domino effect. If are less afraid, more open-minded, and curious to learn, others will follow.


Winarick is travelling on what she calls a “listening tour,” called Hope Domino. It is a chance to bring people together to explore culture, as well as identify people who are influential. It can be difficult to navigate change in communities where one group looks and acts completely different than another. However, once we make the effort to get to know people, we often find them likeable.


The TED organization seeks to excite, inform, and inspire people through listening. Why not do the same in our day-to-day lives?