Most of the time, “TED* Thoughts” offers ideas and applications of the ways of thinking, interacting and taking action contained in The Power of TED* that are sparked from my own direct experience, musings or inquiries.  Other times it focuses on current events or topics.

Our news is full of stories that hang on the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) ™ and the interplay of the Victim, Persecutor, and Rescuer roles.  It is much more rare to see news stories in which we can point to TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) ™ being implicitly described.   This is one of those times.

Over the past several weeks, the story of Michael Vick’s shift from a Persecutor and Victim to a Challenger and Creator has come to our attention.  (For those who are reading this from outside the U.S., Michael Vick is a talented and successful star in American football – and he has a checkered past, described below.)

I have been so taken by this story that we released the following news release today:

David Emerald, author of The Power of TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) commends Michael Vick’s partnership with the Humane Society of the United States—calling the relationship a “shift from the drama triangle into personal, community and cultural empowerment.”

NFL star Michael Vick was sentenced to prison for 23 months in 2007 for bankrolling and participating in a dog-fighting ring. Upon release Vick reached out to the US Humane Society to request participation in programs to eradicate dog fighting in America. Initially rejecting his overtures, the two have formed an unlikely partnership.

Wayne Pacelle president and CEO of the Humane Society publicly supported the judicial action that led to Vick’s incarceration. However, Pacelle began to shift his thinking about Vick and decided that with his participation, Vick could be an “agent for change.”

“We are culturally socialized once we judge someone as a persecutor to keep them there,” says Emerald, who compliments Pacelle for being able to move beyond Vick as a persecutor of animals to agreeing to work with him by seeing an opening for redemption through forgiveness and co-creating a forum where positive changes became possible. Vick now teaches youth the consequences of his own poor choices, and that it is possible to rise above cultural conditioning and change attitudes, which Emerald calls a shift from a victim orientation to a creator orientation.

“This is great on so many levels. Vick made a shift from being a victim of his own choices, and potentially feeling persecuted for his incarceration, to a creator through personal empowerment which is fertile ground for leading to a shift in cultural attitudes and conditioning,” explains Emerald.

This example of rising above what Emerald calls the DDT (Dreaded Drama Triangle) where the victim, persecutor and rescuer role are perpetuated) and stepping into the TED* (The Empowerment Dynamic where roles shift from drama to creator, coach, and challenger) is a movement that Emerald has spearheaded to promote empowerment, facilitating personal, business and cultural shifts by moving from toxic emotional paradigms into improving the human potential and relationships through co-creating sustainable outcomes.

We would love to help spread the word of similar stories of individuals, organizations or communities that demonstrate the shift from the DDT to TED.  Please email me ( with any stories or examples that we can share with others.

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