Our Differences Make Us The Same

Once upon a time…

In a galaxy not so far away, our galaxy, our planet, there are seeds for change.  

This obvious riff on two pop culture tropes leads us into the arena of storytelling – that is the foundation of all that we consume – from film to tv shows, from books to music, and from news to the advertisements that seem to infest most content.   

What I’m not going to do is explain storytelling to you – that would be an entirely different story!

This is a story of how my family and I got to see “A Conversation with SCOTUS Justice Sonia Sotomayor” at Walnut Hills High School.  Sonia Sotomayor is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.  She is only the third woman and the first Hispanic and Latina Justice out of 114 people who have served during the Supreme Court’s 230-year lifespan.  

Justice Sotomayor is not shy about her life story and has written several books, for both adults and children, that share her history, her influences and her love of Law.  At the age of 7, she was diagnosed with diabetes and because of being in a single-parent household due to the untimely death of her father, she began giving herself life-saving insulin injections at that same age.  This condition created a distance between her and her classmates – bridging this divide became the central theme of Sotomayor’s new book “Just ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You!”

Sotomayor’s storytelling, takes two different approaches: one for children and one as a learning tool for adults.  Both teach us all a better way of interacting with people that appear different from ourselves.  Her analogy of people being like different flowers in a garden helps establish this landscape before delving into the stories of 10 or so children and their unique qualities – which, as we all grow and blossom, know are not that unusual.

The importance of this book (and its thoughtfulness), quickly became very personal, as I reflected upon the challenges my own friends and family face – from Autism to Speech Impediments.

At Upstream, we’ve had the opportunity to help tell the stories of others that if you bumped into them on the street or sat next to them on a park bench – you may have found yourself staring – whether you meant to or not.  From children with Ocular implants to those with nearly full paralysis – each story helps prove the old axiom that you can’t always judge a book by its cover, or as Justice Sonia Sotomayor remarked when, as a teenager, someone saw her injecting herself in a public restroom “Don’t think the worst in people.” 

This is a children’s book that is set out to challenge the misconceptions of adults.  

So everyone, and yes that means all of us– Just ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You!

What Creatively Inspires You?

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” – Robin Williams

What creatively inspires you? That’s the question today. Working in media, it’s common to find ourselves constantly creating to a point where we may feel like our creative “tank” is running low.  Have you ever found yourself just staring at a screen, hoping that something miraculous and perfect comes to mind?  

As creatives, we not only have to take the time to invest in the projects we’re working on, but we have to make a conscious effort to invest in ourselves as well. It can be extremely healthy and productive to shut off for a while and experience things that will kick that imaginative side of our brains back into gear.

Fortunately, there are countless places to go to look for creative inspiration. We live in a world where Internet is king and the ability to share content with anyone at any time is instantaneous. Everyone is inspired differently – each of us has a unique blend of preferences and interests. 

With all this in mind, we started to get curious about what inspires our coworkers here at Upstream. To find out, we did what we do best in this industry – we asked our group to brainstorm. What keeps the gears going? How do we pump out content that not only our clients love, but that we ourselves are proud of?  

Our results were incredible – we sifted through all different types of content (videos, music, sports, nature, you name it) that really proved how diverse our group of creatives are at Upstream. Go ahead and scroll through our “melting pot” of inspiration…it just might have an effect on you!



TED Talks are great source to hear from professionals across all disciplines!


Instagram Accounts to Follow:

Places to Walk Around:

Books To Read:

Music To Listen To:

Video Games To Play: