In Defense of WalkUp My Segment on the Michaela Show on HLN

Yesterday I had an opportunity to talk about #WalkUp on national TV. I was invited to be on the Michaela Pereira show on @HLNTV.  The idea behind #WalkUp is not mine.  In fact, I saw it on a Facebook post from a friend of a friend.  Here is what inspired me:

Instead of walking out of school on March 14, encourage students to walk up — walk up to the kids who sits alone at lunch and invite him to sit with your group; walk up to the kids who sits quietly in the corner of the room and site next to her, smile and say Hi; walk up to the kid who causes disturbances in class and ask how he is doing; walk up to your teachers and thank them; walk up to someone who has different view that you and get to know them – you may be surprised at how much you have in common.  Build own that foundation instead of casting stone.  I challenge students to find 14 students and 3 adults to walk up to and say something nice in honor of those who died in (Parkland) FL on the 14th of February. But you can start practicing now! #walkupnotout

The controversy that led to my invitation to be on HLN started when I posted this on Twitter:

It seems almost unbelievable to me that we as a society would debate the importance of being kind.  Unfortunately, the #WalkUp movement is often misunderstood and mischaracterized, sometimes purposely so.  I’ve seen several attempts to label #WalkUp as “victim blaming” or misrepresenting the impact that being kind can have on a disaffected and potentially violent youth.  Do I believe that the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas could have been stopped if the students had been more kind to him?  Of course not.  In meetings last week with the Director of the Secret Service and the head of the National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC), apart of the Secret Service, I learned that there is a path along which disaffected & troubled youth travel called a “Continuum of Violence”.  A few of the key findings & implications are:

Students who engaged in school-based attacks typically did not “just snap” and then engage in impulsive or random acts of targeted school violence. Instead, the attacks examined under the Safe School Initiative appeared to be the end result of a comprehensible process of thinking and behavior: behavior that typically began with an idea, progressed to the development of a plan, moved on to securing the means to carry out the plan and culminated in an attack.

An important element in preventing these attacks is information that can be provided by students.  These are often key pieces of a puzzle when pieced together can aid school officials and law enforcement in stopping the attack.

First and foremost, this finding suggests that students can be an important part of prevention efforts. A friend or schoolmate may be the first person to hear that a student is thinking about or planning to harm someone. Nevertheless, for a variety of reasons, those who have information about a potential incident of targeted school violence may not alert an adult on their own. Schools can encourage students to report this information in part by identifying and breaking down barriers in the school environment that inadvertently may discourage students from coming forward with this information. Schools also may benefit from ensuring that they have a fair, thoughtful and effective system to respond to whatever information students do bring forward. If students have concerns about how adults will react to information that they bring forward, they may be even less inclined to volunteer such information.

By fostering an atmosphere of kindness as embodied in the #WalkUp movement, imagine the impact a student may have after having befriended a troubled classmate and felt if that student felt comfortable sharing that information with an adult.  It is not the responsibility of the student to intervene, just to share information, their piece of the puzzle, a piece that could ultimately stop an act of violence before it starts.

Several key findings point to the fact that kids send signals–both directly and indirectly–to others regarding their problems. The boys who engaged in the targeted school violence examined by the Safe School Initiative were not “invisible” students. In fact nearly all of these students engaged in behaviors–prior to their attacks–that caused concern to at least one person, usually an adult, and most concerned at least three people.

This finding highlights the range of behaviors in a student’s life that may be noticeable and that could prompt some additional probing by a caring adult. A student’s family, teachers, friends and others may have information regarding aspects of a student’s behavior that has raised concern.

So, #WalkUp can help change the school culture and create an environment of trust and safety as well enabling the sharing of vital information that could help protect students and teachers at school.  If the #WalkUp effort is done early enough on that continuum, a life can be changed in a positive way forever.  I’d say it’s worth more than a try.

If you’d like to read more about the research Secret Service has done on making our schools safer, you can find it here:  THE FINAL REPORT AND FINDINGS OF THE SAFE SCHOOL INITIATIVE (pdf)

Goodbye Myrio

Dear friends and colleagues,

As I depart Nokia Siemens Networks (Myrio was acquired in 2005 by Siemens and is now subsidiary of Nokia Siemens Networks), today marks the end of an era for me–11 incredible years.

When we started working on the technologies that became Myrio, we had a dream that one-day companies all over the world would be delivering TV services over IP. We were not clairvoyant enough to predict how, what is now called IPTV, would develop over the coming years, but we knew the power of Internet combined with entertainment would create amazing new possibilities. Although IPTV seems so “well duh” now, this was not the case–even just 5 years ago.

I want to take this opportunity to thank every one of you for believing in Myrio and the possibilities it created. We could not have done it without you!

In 2005 Steve Jobs gave the commencement speech at Stanford. I want to share a short excerpt from that speech. He said, “You’ve got to find what you love. [sic]. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it
just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=D1R-jKKp3NA

The full text of the speech can be found at http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html

Myrio and IPTV have most certainly been a labor of love. As I sign off, I extend my best wishes to all of you.

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.

-ryan

 

Why are we happy? Why aren’t we happy?

Psychologist Dan Gilbert challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. Our “psychological immune system” lets us feel real, enduring happiness, he says, even when things don’t go as planned. He calls this kind of happiness “synthetic happiness,” and he says it’s “every bit as real and enduring as the kind of happiness you stumble upon when you get exactly what you were aiming for.”  This video is from the 2004 TED conference.

[flv]http://static.videoegg.com/ted/movies/DANGILBERT_high.flv[/flv]

More conference information on TED can be found here.  The original video can be found here along with other great presentations.  I would encourage you to take some time and view as many as you can.

102 Personal Finance Tips Your Professor Never Taught You

From yourcreditadvisor.com:

If you’re anything like me, you graduated from college and perhaps even took a finance class or accounting class here or there, but you didn’t learn anything about managing your personal finances. In fact, there probably wasn’t even an opportunity to take any such class in either high school or college. But if college is partly about training us for a job, shouldn’t we learn what to do with the money we earn from a job? Especially in a country where 45% of college students are in credit card debt and 40% of all Americans say they live beyond their means, I think it’s time to wise up to some of the challenges of money management. A few (say, 102) simple rules can help get your financial life (back) on the right track.

102 Personal Finance Tips Your Professor Never Taught You

Top 25 Personal Finance Myths

Over at yourcreditadvisor.com they have published a list of the top 25 personal finance myths. Find out which ones you secretly subscribe to.

Someone once said that if you were to make a list of your 10 closest friends and acquaintances and order your earnings and theirs from smallest to greatest, you’d probably find yourself somewhere near the middle. All that this means is that we are subtly influenced by our friends, even when we’re not aware of it, especially in matters of money. Being somewhere in the middle is probably more comfortable for the average person. If you are that rare person at the high end of the list, then you probably don’t need to read this article. If you are not, then find out what’s holding you back. There are hundreds of personal finance myths which are either misunderstood, taken out of context, or just plain incorrect. Here are our top 25.

Top 25 Personal Finance Myths