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In a world that gravitates to being the same, Cole Blakeway reminds us that we are all different and that’s awesome. Cole is a messy ten year old from Maple Ridge, British Columbia and he’s turning the world on its ear.

Conversation and Connection Cole Style

Cole is an elementary student with a TEDx bio. Do you know how good you have to be in order to give a TEDx talk? Cole’s so far ahead of the pack as a speaker we can hardly see him for his dust.

If you’ve never heard of TEDx it’s a program designed to help communities, organizations and individuals to spark conversation and connection. Cole is acing both of those.

His TEDx West Van bio reads: “Friend. Brother. Son. Soccer Player. Math nerd. Overall great guy. Cole Blakeway may be too young for his own Twitter account, but he’s old enough to help us imagine what a perfect friendship looks like.”

In his presentation, Cole talks about his friendship with Steven, a 44 year old man who has autism.


As Cole explains, his mom and Steven went to the same high school. They met inside the cafeteria when she was 13 – back in 1988 – and they’ve remained close friends for decades.

“When I was born, Steven was a special part of our family and I’ve grown up calling him Uncle Steven,” Cole says. “Steven is included in family dinners, he comes to my soccer games, he loves watching movies with us and every couple of weeks he has a sleep over.”

Then Cole drops the hammer – “I don’t think we need a cure for autism just like we don’t need a cure for freckles or brown hair. You don’t need to fix something that is not broken.”


And Cole is just getting started. Imagine him at thirty three.

The four minutes and forty seconds of his talk are so worth watching.

If this doesn’t make your day, try wearing two different shoes and brilliantly colored socks.

And smile.


What is it that makes you different? What makes you jump out of bed? Please leave a comment below. And be different – share this post with your family, friends, enemies and total strangers. It will make their day. Thank you.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers


  • Karen says:

    Thank you for sharing Cole’s presentation. He is a funny kid that makes everyone around him happy. I hope your message gets to lots of followers. I am his Nonna and couldn’t be more proud of him.

  • Bob Jones says:

    Thank you Karen for commenting. You have every reason to be proud! More power to him.

  • Calay says:

    Cole is obviously a treasure. His message gives me such encouragement for my own kids. I pray they find the same joy in being their unique selves. I tell them regularly that they’re so weird and they smile because they know I mean it as a compliment. I’m proud of who they are and they should be too! I need to find that adorable book.

  • Glenda says:

    We’re all a little different and that’s awesome! Beautiful story and a very talented, caring kid! This young man is going to go far.

  • Julie MacKenzie says:

    What an awesome Ted Talk. His Mom has taught him well. I loved this video & blog.

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