A picture of John Styn's grandfather, Rev. Caleb Elroy Shikles, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had a huge impact on John Styn's life growing up. It made him realize that great people are not "them" - they are "us." In this funny, emotional TEDx talk, Styn shares his grandpa's lessons of living life in intense gratitude and the joy that comes from gifting. We all have a choice every moment of our lives. Are we going to focus on the (ice cream) cone or the (dog) crap?


 Your Name: Email:
  • Janet

    I have always felt our purpose is to do God's will. His Son gave of himself and ultimately gave his life for all of us. Everything comes from him and we need to share our gifts, talents, and love with all of our brothers and sisters. Thanks for your message.

  • Carole

    I am teaching my Sunday School class, a series called The Circle of Life. We are young seniors. Is there anyway to download this so I can use it for the class. There are about 15 people in the class. I would need it on a DVD.

  • Berry

    This was great...but I gotta tell you, the video with his grandfather made it for me. How blessed John is to have had his grandfather and how blessed I am to have seen this. Thank you

  • Steven Crisp

    This. Will. Change. Your. Life! Thank you for sharing, for sincerity, for heartfelt emotion, for your grandpa, for the truth. Still trembling with joy and smiling with happiness. Namaste.

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    Dear John, I said it before & I say it again: Beyond Grateful for your Beautiful message on Gifting & Gratitude. How lucky we all are for your Grandpa first guided you. Now YOU help Guide us. May we ALL see the CONE of blessings in this world. EVERYONE, if you want to be inspired by John even More, please do watch his Hug Nation every Tuesday on youtube, he shares wisdom, love & Heart. <3 <3 <3 to you. HUGS from my lil heart to yours!

  • Linda J. Ferguson

    Great video and story telling. I agree with John's reaction to 2001. That inspired me to write my latest book, "Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand". I felt we needed to respond from Love not fear.

  • susan

    wow. the simplicity of the message. and how much you FEEL this. and your granddad. ridiculous. great talk.

  • Raquel

    This video resonated within so many parts of me. My heart was beaming with JOY from the inside out. What a fabulous gift you just gave all who are open enough to hear, see, feel and absorb this simple yet profound concept that can permeate a whole new way of living.

  • Eleanor

    Thank You so much well done so great to pass it on! My Parents, and my Grandma were just like your Grandpa! They changed my life when I didn't want to live anymore, they got me back on track and my spiritually life came back to me! Thank You so much! Keep up the great work you are doing your Grandpa is proud of you!

  • Maria

    With all my heart and soul, thank you for the grateful, appreciative, joyful, funny spirit that you and your grandfather share so exquisitely, reminding us what life is REALLY all about! Thanks for making all of it available for all of us! WOWW! THIS is wealth to share! May I have your permission to use some footage in in a way that will reach a lot of people? I shall, of course, credit you properly. And thanks for articulating so beautifully what Burning Man is really all about!

  • Zora

    Dear John, who you are and how you share this message saves lives. I can't express how deeply touched I am, tears still wet in my eyes, heart pumping with hope and excitement about the good stuff in life.

  • Jan

    So cool! Thank you!

  • Myles

    Is the glass half-full or half-empty? Either way, it's a beautiful glass!

  • Kurt Krueger

    'm inspired to show this to my "retained" Personal Responsibility class of Middle Schoolers. Students who should be a grade level higher but for the fact that they failed too may classes... I'll let you know how it goes over... I feel that they will get off on it...

  • Conrad

    The great people at Service Space .org. Warm and kind regards to everyone and everything.

  • Viki

    He puts the hard things out there! By hard I mean the things many people don't talk about. The act of giving has helped me find inner peace, and love myself more.

  • George Patrin

    I have been on a grief journey after losing my 21 year old son to suicide 3 years ago. He understood the mess we were in (the crap) but couldn't feel and appreciate the amazing anymore. He gets it now...with your Grandpa guiding him...and they are guiding me and you. I'd like to meet you some day, just as I just met Dr. Patch Adams on a clown trip to Russia. He's the Master of Hug Therapy and Gifting. Wow!

  • Jodi Runyan

    Wow, great video John wish I could have met your gramps. Im sure he is very proud of the work your doing. Thank you for the message

  • Sandy

    Thank you for your video. The beauty lies in the simple message that John delivered. Be grateful, loving, and giving in all that we do and with all that we have..

  • sethi

    Thank you .

  • John Styn

    I can't tell you how inspiring it has been to hear from so many Karmatube viewers! I have no doubt that Grandpa would be THRILLED! fyi: www.GrandpaCaleb.com <3 or http://www.hugnation.com

  • Therese

    The entire thing was an inspiration. Loved it.

  • lorrie

    The sincerity of his message was truly uplifting and gives me hope there IS change happening in a good direction for humanity. His grandfather's life created many far reaching ripples in the pond. I'm thankful for John being the Ambassador of good will and being the example of generosity.

  • Sa'ra Earthdove-tinker

    Brother John with open heart, with grace balanced with humor reminds us of what our true calling. Open heart to heart sharing of our all being related and our "us-ness" rather than the illusion of our separateness." Life is our precious gift and John reminds us that in focusing on helping one another, we find our true home of blissful gratitude and fulfillment. In sharing his beloved elder....his grandfather....now mine too.....he humbly models respecting our elders who have deep life teachings to share.....if we but listen....heart-fully! I see John as a brave authentic brother who wishes to encourage community and unity in all living beings. Bear hugs to John along with butterfly kisses! Aho!

  • Jeffrey Farrar Dean

    This is a Man worth listening too.:)

  • Marybeth

    Truthfulness about our connections to all people. Having recently found my maternal extended family I realize how we are connected to the point that we feel we have known wach other forever even tho for over half century none of us even knew the other existed. GRATITUDE IS A FORCE OF NATURE if you don't keep searching for what you know is inside of you waiting for you to find it and never quitting to listen to that voice that is ousgingbyou to find what is there to discover.

  • Tom Rubens

    The question was "What inspired you about this video?" Seems like such a silly question, doesn't it? I mean, really. The entire video is an inspiration. Thank you, John.

  • ilene

    connect with gratitude

  • Hamidah

    Sharing of his grandpa special gift and way of life embracing gratitute and his Gifting way of life and positive energy all his life till the end ... the legacy his grandpa left in for him to continue with the Gratitute and Gifting! Beautifully said and its inspiring. Lets hug ourself today and for the rest of life feelign and knowign that we are all connected cause we come from the same CREATOR and its up to US to make the best use of the time left on earth till we go the next place in the next world.

  • Live Love Coach

    This is my FAVORITE VIDEO BY FAR! Much Love to John and his family! Live Love!

  • Kelly Abundance Morris

    I've seen you many times on the playa, but I'll never forget seeing you at the Temple the year your grandpa died and how hard you were grieving and how much you missed him. He seems like he was such a great man, I'm so glad he has such an awesome grandson to carry on his spirit and legacy.

  • Christine Kaye

    Oh, my God! This is just what I have been trying to say to a friend of mine, but Johm says it SO much better. THANK YOU!!! A million times, I thank you.

  • Ann

    It made me realize I'll been smelling the dog crap too much without realizing I could just wipe it off and go on enjoying the good stuff.

  • BReal

    His energy and joy are inspiring and infectious~ this reminds me of the message of Buddha, that life is full of pain, but by living in the moment with gratitude we alleviate the suffering normally associated with pain and loss. John is a wonderful light in this world. :)

  • Katrina

    I gift today !

  • John Halcyon Styn

    Soooo happy that the message resonates. Much love!!!! <3

  • Tracey

    What an amazing Man, what an inspiration to everyone on this planet. I laughed & cried at this video. Wish there were more people like both these men, boy the world would be so much better for it. Amazing message wonderfully told. I do my very best to always focus on the 'ice cream' & life does truly get better when you do. I do gift when I can, in what ever little way. As for the Hug at the end AWESOME!!!! made me cry. Terrific, thank you so much John & Caleb.

  • Brian

    Hug yerselves....don't forget!...peace on Earth....thanks for sharin'...

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    TRUTH! I loved this talk so much! I feel like I've found my lost brother in John. I live in the ice cream cone, sharing FREE HUGS round the world, gifting as often as possible. this world is indeed an Amazing place, how lucky are we to be in it!? To focus on Gratitude, to Gift. One of my favorite lines; "you can be self centered, True Self, Divine Self" I have found it so true, "making YOU joyful, makes Me joyful." It is my life work to build bridges between through EXACTLY the types of activities John is sharing! HUGS to you John! I hope to meet you to HUG you in Person! PS I organize a World Wide FREE HUGS every February 14th for Valentine's Day, would be GREAT if you were a part of it! HUUUUUUUG! and <3 and Gratitude that you are on this planet!

  • Brian

    The power of a simple Hug!

  • Sparkle

    A great reminder of the power of the positive!

  • Page 1

  • Learn more about John "Halcyon" Styn and some of his projects, including Hug Nation and 1st Saturdays.
  • Read about the "Generosity Paradox: By Giving We Receive, But By Taking We Lose."
  • It doesn't have to be a Tuesday - go ahead, hug yourself right now.

Recent Pledges On ...

Related Videos