Silvi Alcivar
Having 20/20 Vision
TEDxSanDiego 2015

Instructions for having 20/20 vision for TedxSanDiego and you. Remember that vision doesn’t only happen with your eyes. Sometimes you find besos de coco on the lips of your listening and you taste the romance of a trumpet inviting you to tap out the rhythms in your feet, the quickest way to hear your body sing the song that plays for all people in this room.

Remember, vision doesn’t only happen with your eyes. Sometimes you have to think about you, about how the “I” in innovation is an invitation, a call to action to look beyond bank accounts and what society wants, to look for the happiness you seek and write your own definition of success. Call it a snuggy.

You get to decide what is enough, make your own light when there is darkness. See what happens when you problem solve and succeed by knowing you’re not alone. You’re always holding hands with people who also wake with your dreams in theirs.

Yes, vision doesn’t only happen with your eyes. Sometimes you attempt to become a musician, but life says, “Not yet. Not the way you envision.”

This is not the end of the score, just a rest in the measure of a life that knows seeing doesn’t only happen with your eyes, but also in your arms, holding a cornet or a violin bow, feeling how it feels to move toward the future, imagining and hearing all the notes before you make them.

This is how anything begins: trust making music with the body of imagination. A chorus we can all learn to sing.

Sometimes to truly see, you have to go to school. Join the university ecosystem that asks you to choose an issue and experiment, innovate, problem solve, learn.

Yes, be part of the movement that makes the ivory stay with the elephants and emboldens you to walk into the future wearing the peacemaker shoes, knowing you are the chancellor of life’s university, taking the course that unleashes the potential of new talent and a better world.

Sometimes you need to know yourself better. Look for the kindest eyes in the room, the person who seems to need a friend more than you do. If you’re lucky, this person will talk endlessly about chimpanzees and set you on the course of thinking about what makes you uniquely human, what makes us so different from a porpoise leaping or a squirrel stealing.

The answer is in our heads, our hearts, our visions, the worlds created inside our creation, and having the ability to think about the invisibility of ideas, to imagine ideas worth spreading.

This is our blessing and our curse. As we work the work of being human, creating futures like ants building colonies, we’re all just artists making art, making ourselves and this world that’s ours.
Remember, vision doesn’t only happen with your eyes. Sometimes young lions of jazz roar us awake. Sometimes the fire and intuition of a physicist throws a tennis ball into the air and asks you into his office, asks about Einstein while your eyes make note of a poster of Coltrane.

You begin to listen to his giant steps, then take some of your own, following Keppard’s lead, linking music and the cosmos, trying to solve for what doesn’t have solutions, but it’s no matter when your heart pulses rhythms of gratitude for the teacher, the tennis ball, the star stuff we’re all made of.
Sometimes you have to think about the absurd, like being a species that can launch a robot into space and communicate with it every day, but is still trusting paper and a postal worker to carry our political future.

This is where you imagine government red tape breaking. Can you feel the scissors in your hands? How the state of art technologies can help heal the state of political corruption, unrest, fraud?
This is where you know a vote for innovation at the polls saves not just time and human errors, but defends truth and saves lives.

Remember, vision does not happen only with your eyes. Sometimes you need a neuroscientist to tell you music matters, to listen when he says mapping growth and the brain based on what happens when children learn music will actually help us know how our personalities are determined in our brain, one note, one rhythm of discovery at a time.

If this seems too scientific, make the rabbit hole your laboratory. Take that fearless leap. Blink. Zoom out to cosmic proportions. Expand the universe as you know it. Compose. Dismantle. Live the magic future no one can predict.

Replace routine with surprise. Play your minutes into passions. Everything will be in question. The provocation of emotion will choreograph change on the stage of human knowledge and in the plasticity of our brains. We’ll take virtual vacations. Eat from gardens in the sky. Grow wings.

Remember, vision doesn’t only happen with your eyes. You have to ask yourself, “Who am I? What do I want? How can I serve?” When the door opens to a much anticipated meeting, you listen to the bells ringing in the power of now, knowing this is how peace comes, how a soccer mom’s nervous system can intend to raise the vibration of the world with intention.

Small change makes great impact. Think of a drop of rain becoming an ocean. Think of you noticing your breath, right now.

If all this seems too serious that’s because changing the world, saving ourselves, innovating our systems, saving lives, questioning, answering, dreaming, making change, making change, making change, saving the world, saving the world, saving the world, is pretty serious business.

Take a moment and remember to remember what makes you laugh. Something like an image of King of the Hill on the toilet, his eyes shifting deep in thought?

Yes, if all else fails, remember where you go number two is the number one place to think. Another great place? Your car when you’re stuck in traffic, trying not to road rage.

Use that time to think about the time it costs, the energy, the money wasted, the carbon footprint. Sometimes it takes being stuck to turn ideas on, like a streetlight that has eyes, not only to see what it is going on around, but also to see into tomorrow, where such technology can clear up the road and even effect democratic change, guiding cities into cleaner, safer, more engaged and peaceful places to live.

Though it seems counterintuitive, sometimes you need to have a bit of dark to find the light of the bright future. For example, living the misfortune of hackers hacking on your onboard computer system and running your car into the ditch might get you to start thinking about how to make the internet world a safer place to keep us safer in real life.

Remember, vision doesn’t only happen with your eyes. Sometimes you need to be reborn, believe in rebirth, take the umbilical cords of girls in poverty and wrap them in the wealth of education, plant them in the earth that births freedom from the violent lives their mothers lived.

Wed these girls to a different future. End their silence. Ask them to voice their dreams knowing work married to hope married to trust liberates what would otherwise remain buried in too dark soil.
Yes, if you want to know how to have 20/20 vision, remember vision doesn’t just happen with your eyes.

You need to step onto the stage of your life, speak your science, your business, your poetry, your fears, your hopes, your needs, your wants, and enter the global conversation that’s turning this present moment into the future, ours. Thank you.