Jordan Reeves

TED-Ed Community Manager, TED Conferences


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What's one lesson you find super compelling?

If you could put a megaphone to the ears of the world for just 5 mintues, what's the one lesson you would teach. It doesn't have to be serious, but it can be. It doesn't have to be about math, science, literature, or history, but it can be. It just needs to capture the minds of your audience.

  • Apr 20 2012: My dad once told me to always speak up when I "felt" that something wasn't right... because it's worth the risk of being proven wrong.
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      Apr 22 2012: this is an idea worth spreading! =)
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    Apr 20 2012: Wow, if I had EVERYONE in the world's would have to be, revolution. Not anarchy, not bloodshed, but change becasue it's obvious it's time to change this broken record.
    The lesson I would like everyone to learn is that just because things in the world are the way they are, doesn't mean they have to stay like that. There is enough for everyone, it's not a dream and it's not beyond your power. Not once EVERYONE (or at least the vast majority) agrees and moves in the same direction, then nothing can stop us from creating the world that we all know we SHOULD be creating. :)

    Oh, also, we need to go into space, but that can wait until we learn how to treat our own planet and peoples. We don't wanna go out there making the same childish mistakes(we couldn't afford that kinda GRAND SCALE FECK UP) :)
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      Apr 21 2012: Viva La Revolución.
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        Apr 21 2012: Derek, tu hablas espanol?
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          Apr 21 2012: It was a french expression used during the french revolution during the beheading of marie antoinette and louis XVI, or it is how I correlate revolution in my head. haha!

          Though I know mucho poquito espanol. Don't test me on it. haha!
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        Apr 21 2012: Well, if you want to memorize some phrases in spanish let me know.....see, even though you are an adult, still you must first memorize to learn knowledge, then understand what you have learned and use it wisely and finally teach it to others..........I love that TED conversations can be spread around.

        Be Well.......Cuidate (pronounced queedahte.......literally 'take care of yourself')
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      Apr 21 2012: Agreed ... but the revolution needs to take into accounts the constraints of the human mind. There are reasons why things are the way they are, and some of them are not about the pressure of historical events. They are about how we make sense of the world around us, and how we constantly keep messing it up.

      The evolution of human societies are a little like the development of weather systems. Once an idea takes hold, it can turn into a veritable storm. Human beings will belive in the most preposterous things, if enough people around them are (pretending to?) believe the same. This type of factor will limit our ability to "construct" ideal societies, and are one reason why revolutions go astray, why they bring the "wrong" kind of people into power, and why they tend to derail and have unintended consequences.
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        Apr 21 2012: Yes, I hear what you're saying Jorgen.
        I have a modicum of faith and hope for mankind that we can create a fair and just world. With societies based on equality and fairness, not just greed, everywhere you look greed !! And with leaders who care and or, are fearful of the people, not the other way around :)))

        A pleasure discussing it with you.
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          Apr 22 2012: Likewise! I'm concerned because the usual pattern in human interaction seems to be that the greater the need becomes for peaceful cooperation, the more that cooperation breaks down.

          Biologists have shown that inside a closed group, selfish individuals tend to outcompete cooperative individuals, and that in competition between groups, coooperative groups tend to outcompete groups dominated by selfishness.

          Afghanistan, Somalia and Haiti seem to be examples of how this translates to human societies when they come up against severe environmental constraints. These societies are dominated by intra-group rather than intergroup competition, which sort of explains why internal cohesion break down and the whole area descends into chaos. If the world is getting hotter (never mind the cause), we're going to have a LOT more people living in such environments 10 years from now, which will mean more strife, more hunger and more illegal immigrants.

          As for the US, I'm seeing development there from the outside, and my analysis could be quite similar to yours: Right now, the place is on the path towards a revolution. I hope it's going to be a peaceful one, and that the people it brings into power will be unlike Stalin or Robspierre. More likely, I believe that your amazing society will manage to absorb the strain in time and turn it into constructive change, rather than destructive explosion. But you HAVE to find a way to limit inherited privilege.

    • Apr 23 2012: I couldn't agree more. Thanks
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    Apr 21 2012: Empathy is the single greatest strength of humanity.
    All else is a side-show.

    We need to know a little more about advantage - how much is actually necessary, and at which point personal advantage degrades humanity.
    • Apr 21 2012: Mitch, I just read an article about a study that shows those who have the greatest advantages are the least empathetic. I, too, wonder at which point personal advantage degrades humanity. When does personal advantage become a sense of entitlement, then superiority?
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        Apr 21 2012: Hi Donna, it appears that yes, they have the greatest advantage...........but appearances can be deceiving.

        In the long run, you reap what you sow.
        • Apr 21 2012: That saying, you reap what you sow, draws upon the belief that there is an after life, or a belief in Karma. Both of these beliefs, each of which are unproven, has created a degree of passivity within humanity to not hold accountable the people responsible for commiting inhumane acts. Imagine how much more proactive humanity would be in seeking to hold the inhumane to account if humanity believed this life that we live, on this planet we call home, was the only one we had. The time for leaving it to some unproven supernatural force must come to an end because the deterent doesn't work on psychopaths and we're letting them get away with unspeakable horrors because to many of the none-psychopathic masses still believe in the heaven/hell/karma of reward and punishment.
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          Apr 21 2012: Roxane Paczensky,

          You took my simple idea in my head and you completely expanded it. Thank you!

          I too agree with your idea, but I feel that it is true when they say "bad habits die hard". Does everyone have the ability to realize how this belief of after life or Karma is not a good excuse to let certain bad deeds go unpunished or has society not evolved in that direction to allow these ideas to be removed from social institutions?

          I too believe in a possibility of an after life or Karma, but I find it to have stuck with me.
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          Apr 21 2012: Roxane and Derek,
          The phrase..."you reap what you sow", can also describe what we do while here on this earth......can it not? I observe that energy flows through us as individuals, and as groups of individuals all the time. So, in that respect, the energy that we send out to others, often comes back to us, don't you think?

          I send out loving energy just because it's enjoyable, and I agree that the stories of heaven/hell have NOT seemed to work too well regarding people's behavior. I really like being HERE...NOW, and I prefer to spend my time in the moment, rather than worrying, or wondering about an after life, heaven/hell! Based on my experience here on earth, what I send out to people often comes back, and I believe that is simply the flow, or balance of energy.

          That being said, I agree Roxane that the phrase often sends the message of afterlife or karma, and we CAN change our perception of the meaning...can we not?

          I agree...change is sometimes difficult, and certain habits "die hard", as you insightfully say. I believe society HAS evolved in the direction of change. Just look at how much we are discussing this issue here on TED? We now have the technology to connect with one another, and I believe people are evolving to the point of wanting to think and feel for themselves. This may contribute to creating more accountability in our world?
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          Apr 22 2012: Oh Colleen,

          Your words are touching, and I believe you have pointed out the fact which was right in front of me. =)

        • Apr 22 2012: Agree @Colleen -
          Tho perhaps often connected to spiritual thoughts @Roxane, "reap what you sow" has clear applicability here and now in our daily lives - in our interactions with each other - its just the 'Law of the Farm'. Plant wheat in a field, and then try to harvest corn... :)

          Or to come full circle with @Mitch's original thread comment, I can't be apathetic about people around me, and then expect empathy when my challenges come.
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          Apr 23 2012: Derek and DW,
          The idea is right in front of ALL of us. Now the thing to do is for each and every one of us to act on it..."BE what we want to "SEE" in our world. What we focus on expands:>)
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        Apr 21 2012: Hi DOnna.

        YOu have to go back and back and back .. and realise that all true change is a great big majestic swing that the whole planet participates in.

        RIght now .. the planet is watching kenly to see if there is anything humanity can save of itself.

        We will decide for her.

        Our gift of empathy is very worthwhile - no other creature in our knowledge has expanded potential agency so far into reality.

        My intuition is that she (our planet) will allow a little window through for our gift, but all the game-players (sociopaths) and destroyers (psychopaths) just won't make it through.

        It's hard right now in this period of transition, but be of good faith - comfort is not our friend, games are for cheats, and teh balance will be imposed.

        We will need a margin of comfort - the measure is one-year of supply. THat supply is looking a little bit more than it was a few years ago - but the minimum advantage threshold is the absolute definition of the human.

        Don't look to the supermarkets .. me and my friends made sure there is only about 2 hours of supply in the chain.

        Don't live in a city - this is a place of game-players - who are just instants away from losing. They have no idea how vulnerable they are. Their skills will not be needed in a very short time.

        Empathy is all that the planet wants from us.

        Be honest, sharing, emapthetic and loving.

        Be ready for a lot of sadness.

        There is nothing wrong with sadness.

        Tears wash away all stains.
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        Apr 21 2012: Sorry Donna, I had to highjack your reply button to explain my comment to Roxan.

        @ Roxan...YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW.....(I am not shouting....I'm just putting it in big letters hoping you visit the page again and see it.

        You reap what you sow is a life principle....not a death and afterlife principle.

        I was addressing Donna's comment on a study that people without empathy "appear" to get ahead. And I replied, that you reap what you sow. They may appear to get ahead....but not in the long run....the long run being next week, next month, next year, next job, next relationship, next decision...

        If someone lacks empathy, you cannot expect others to be empathetic to them. Here is another life principle at treat others as you would like them to treat you.

        If someone disrespects his employees, and degrades them and is condescending, he doesn't have to wait for the afterlife to reap what he has sown. In this life, he will sooner or later reap what he has sown.

        It's like a crooked mechanic. He might get away with his shinanegans for a while, but, eventually he'll lose his customers. His reputation will be damaged, and he might even get in trouble with the law......who knows, he might end up on the other side of a 20/20 hidden camera investigation.

        A farmer does not wait for the afterlife or karma to reap the fruits of his labor that he has sown. And we, do not need to wait for karma, afterlife, or any such things to realize that there are consequences for our lack of understanding, empathy and love towards our fellow human been.

        The time is now, not later.
        • Apr 22 2012: Heh - didn't see this comment @Mary. Would have made mine above unnecessary :)
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        Apr 23 2012: @Donna (et al)
        Here is a simple parable about empathy and advantage:

        Jim and Bob were 2 nomadic hunters looking for something to eat.
        Jim was crouched by a big rock.
        On the other side of the rock a rabbit also crouched nibbling grass.
        Jim could not sense the rabbit, the rabbit could not sense Jim.
        But a hundred meters away, Bob could see the rabbit, and could see Jim.
        Bob made teh symbolic guestures to Jim: "RAbbit : Rock : Other side"
        JIm received teh message and could now "see" the rabbit in his perception.
        He lunged over the rock and skewared the rabbit.
        Jim and Bob both ate that night. Their empathy had fed them both.
        AS they cooked, a woman was attracted by the delicious smell and came to the cooking fire.
        Jim and Bob shared the rabbit with her. And they each became aware of sexual desire .. and a potential rivalry.
        The next day, Jim was on station by the rock, and Bob was on watch 100 meters away.
        Bob signalled "Rabbit : Rock : other side".
        JIm responded by lunging over teh rock with his spear - but it was NOT a rabbit!! It was a bear!"
        JIm was shredded by the bear, and Bob returned to the campsite to mate with the woman.
        The next day, Bob went out alone and caught no rabbits. And teh next day .. nothing.
        The woman left his camp in search of a better provider. Bob became weaker and eventually starved.
        With empathy: Humans 1, Rabbits 0
        Without empathy: Humans 0, Bears 1
        Bob got sex, but it didn't do him much good in the end.
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      Apr 21 2012: I love your idea about the "advantage" subject. History is ripe with lessons - what happens when advantages are allowed to accumulate. When done right, such a talk could even help explain why our bodies have been programmed to self-destruct ... in order that we don't outcompete our offspring, and to give them a chance to do better than we did.
    • Apr 21 2012: I cams in to say a better understanding of emotions and feelings. Empathy is at the top of my list. I think putting lables and names to them helps to understand and creats a want to help and understand others.
  • Apr 20 2012: The shift came in my thinking just when my eldest child became a teen. I was no longer the big star in my mental movie. It was very much an ensemble cast and I would do anything to give them the best storylines.
  • Apr 20 2012: Language is the most powerful, most available, yet most commonly misused and abused tool at our disposal. We don't need to shout, to broadcast, or to announce. We need to communicate and to interact; both are actions that involve speaking (and I don't mean just verbally) as well as listening (and I don't just mean with our ears). Nothing is known until it is known through language, even if it is known only unto ourselves.
    • Apr 20 2012: Communication! Exactly, I agree with you completely. Communication is cause of most, if not all, problems and can as well be solution for all of those.
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        Apr 21 2012: I feel most people think of communication as becoming too overly politically correct, but I don't feel that it is so bad.

        What are your thoughts about a world of absolute political correctness?
        • Apr 21 2012: We live in a weird time. My niece gets trophies for losing at sports. We're afraid of conflict. Everybody wins all the time. She has trouble understanding that she can't always win. Now this isn't probably the best anecdote to demonstrate, but what I'm trying to say is that I think that evades a reality that requires that we learn how to embrace conflict. That isn't to say we should go around spouting racial slurs or bad language, but we should also attempt to confront and effectively engage with language that is repressive, oppressive, and downright hurtful. Political correctness doesn't correct-- it's an evasive maneuver that doesn't, in the long run, solve problems. The only way to overcome offensive language is to understand where it comes from and start a dialogue. What happens can be frightening and troublesome, but if we work at it, I truly believe it can lead to respect if not an understanding.
        • Apr 21 2012: In this case I didn't think of political correctness, not even close. Actually I think those terms are not so much related at all. These days being politically correct often means exactly the opposite - to bite your tongue, not to say something unless you can direct it to both sides.
          When I say communication, I assume open, direct and honest discussion, freedom of speech without fear, but with the idea of politeness and others' feelings, I assume will to listen and hear, and finally open mind and humility to admit and adjust when we are shown to be wrong.
        • Apr 22 2012: I'm kinda partial to the phrase "Many in society have forgotten how to *disagree* without being *disagreeable*."

          For those that disagree :), just check Internet blogs for the amount of trolling that goes on - even when an idea warrants merit, the manner in which it's presented is SO distasteful that the opportunity to influence is lost.

          "Who you are speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you're saying." - Emerson
    • Apr 21 2012: Beyond that Cara, he words we choose are powerful creators of our reality.
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        Apr 23 2012: I agree Cara, Buga, Derek, DW and Donna!
        The words we speak and the way in which we communicate (speak and listen) are a big contributing factor to the reality we want to create in our life experience. The manner in which we present ourselves with our communication is so very important:>)

        You ask..."What are your thoughts about a world of absolute political correctness?"

        Personally, it feels like a catch phrase that has so many different meanings, it has lost meaning for me...just my own thought/feeling:>)
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      Apr 21 2012: And, even when we think we think we understand another person, we really don't.

      There is no way of knowing another human's innermost thoughts and feelings.

      We only know what they wish to reveal to us.

      It is hard when you are an introvert, and cannot be around people who are poor communicators. I have that problem. When people put on an act in front of me, and measure their words to be proper, I hesitate to be around them......they make me uncomfortable. That is precisely when I need empathy, and to give them the benefit of the doubt.............I am constantly working on this side of my personality.

      Hence the appropriate phrase: "The art of conversation".

      Thank you Cara for your lovely lesson.
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    Apr 20 2012: That we (1) are alive and that (2) we have a choice about what to do with the time we spend inside this living body (which by the way is part of so many, tiered, living ecosystems on the macroscale (city/state/country/planet/galaxy etc), and on the microscale COMPOSED of just as many, tiered living cellular/molecular ecosystems). What a gift!
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    Apr 21 2012: Improve parenting if you want to improve the human race.
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      Apr 22 2012: Parents get so defensive when they are criticized, but maybe that is because of the hormonal imbalance of caring for a child 24/7? =P
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        Apr 23 2012: Perhaps parents are defensive because they are trying to do something that they have not been trained to do!
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        Apr 23 2012: Derek,
        There certainly IS a hormonal change when pregnant for a child, and soon after the child is born, and I think in general, the hormones eventually regain balance again.

        I agree with Anthony, that there is sometimes anxiety because parenting is a huge responsibility, and we often don't have the best "training" or parenting skills. It is common to repeat patterns we learn from our own parents, and the patterns we repeat are not always the most beneficial.
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          Apr 24 2012: Colleen, Anthony,

          I read on someones profile on ted that there should be a mandatory course that teaches parents basic skills for teaching their children and examining their proficiency as a parent with basic math, science, and english skills at the same time. I found this very intriguing and I thought that it sounds like a very good idea.

          What do you percieve from this idea?
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        Apr 24 2012: Derek,
        Although I think math, science and english are very important, and it never hurts anyone to improve these skills, I don't percieve them as the most important for parenting, so I guess I wouldn't clump them all together.

        Some parents need very basic skills, like how to care for another human being with respect, compassion, empathy and intent to learn, rather than dictate and/or abuse. True "parenting classes", or "parenting books", which there are plenty of, teach how to become more effective in the life experience as well as more effective parents:>)
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          Apr 25 2012: Colleen,

          I think that maybe we could either omit or extremely briefly skimm the basic skills portion of math, science, and english, but maybe add more of an emphasis on parenting skills. It couldn't hurt to learn. As someone once said to me "Our whole lifetime involves some sort of schooling and we will never escape that fact", though they were being pessimistic. I took that idea of theirs and percieved it in a positive light and I highly agree with them because more understanding of knowledge couldn't hurt. =D
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        Apr 25 2012: Derek,
        I can never hurt to have more understanding and knowledge. I percieve us all as teachers and students in the earth school of life, so every moment is an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve. Trying to "escape" it would simply mean that I wasn't fully present in each and every moment to the best of my ability.

        I'm not here to be complacent, which is why I liked your statement so much..."Try to never be complacent. =) "

        It's a choice in every moment, and I would not deny myself the opportunity to be fully engaged in each moment of the life experience:>)
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        Apr 24 2012: Paul, I think that his lesson also has alot of merit.

        What is one lesson in parenting that needs to be taught?
  • Saba Q

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    Apr 20 2012: Never be afraid to ask. - ask questions to learn, or ask for help
    • Apr 21 2012: I grew up thinking not to ask, to be self sufficient and yet be helpful. That is a very one way street.

      I did an exercise on a management course where everyone (30+ people) had to ask for something they wanted right now. The asks varied greatly but most if not all needs were met including someone asking for a screw driver for glasses. I had a small pocket set my daughter had given me for my birthday.

      I learnt people on the whole are happy to give as long as there is no pressure. And are often pleased you asked. How good do you feel when you have been able to help someone.
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        Apr 21 2012: "I learnt people on the whole are happy to give as long as there is no pressure."

        I totally agree Precious.
        Many people are only too willing to give when they are asked personally and feel that what they have to give will be valued.
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    Apr 20 2012: Some go ahead faster than others,some go back to help the others,they are the ones that understand there is no finishing line just the horizon.
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      Apr 20 2012: Are you familiar with Zeno's Paradox? :)
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        Apr 20 2012: No but i gave it a Wiki and laughed.

        All things have been discussed somewhere in the past.I was thinking at the time of writing that post of a great person who had the most amazing education,one wouldn't know until you asked her and yet here she was working as a counselor in a dingy community based project,to make a long story short i asked her a question and she just laughed and said "Some idiot has got to pull the rest along otherwise they'll get left behind" not very inspiring but years later i got what she meant.

        Well Jordan you've certainly started an avalanche ;)
    • Apr 20 2012: Really nicely said! Thanks for that insight ;)
  • Apr 20 2012: Upside Down Vice Versa Thinking...

    I would turn the megaphone the other way around and would make us listen for 3 minutes together to the sound of all the ears of the world. The 4th minute I'll ask all to listen to the sound of our own ears. The last minute I'll ask all to wonder if we tasted any differences between the sound of all the ears of the world and the sound of our own ears.

    It should be great if, by this kind of "5 minutes worldwide shared upside down and vice versa thinking, feeling and doing :-)", we could experience together the importance of good listening to ourselves and to others, feel the importance of involving different senses in a learning process and understand that we are all very different and all very the same too. In case this all might not happen... I hope we all had a good laugh Listening to Ears and Tasting their Sound!
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    Apr 20 2012: The stories you tell yourself become true, and the rules you make for yourself bind you. Why not tell yourself stories of contentment, joy, immeasureable wealth, wellness, openness, freedom, and peace?
  • Apr 20 2012: "Travel kills prejudice"
    • Apr 20 2012: Cripples. Many colonialists, members of empire, businessmen, missionaries remain firm in their prejudice. We tend to see what we are looking for.
      • Apr 20 2012: Maybe I should say independent travel where you need to live with your hosts and experience their viewpoints of life.
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          Apr 21 2012: They should try going off roading or off the common path. That usually has all the uncommon/life-changing agents there. =)
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        Apr 21 2012: I agree Peter and David,
        Travel kills prejudice...IF/WHEN we are open to possibilities?

        We do "tend to see what we are looking for", so experiencing our "hosts" viewpoint of life, is a different kind of travel, then travel with an intent to change "them".

        Perhaps our intent is what is important?
        Are we prejudice and crippling ourselves and others?
        What are we looking for with our travel?
        Are we looking for the opportunity to change those we encounter on our travels?
        Or are we looking for an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve with them?

        Our intent changes the interaction and opportunity:>)
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    Apr 21 2012: Life is inherently self-centered. Just imagine what it would be like if we all became other-centered! Flowing from our attention to others' voices and experiences brings us together with understanding and reveals actions that improve our world.
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      Apr 21 2012: ... at a basic level yes; however, that is what makes us, potentially, different; we do not need to be self-centered. This does not have to be, nor should it be, binary; being self-centered and other-centered are not mutually exclusive.
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        Apr 21 2012: Eva and Anthony,
        I do not agree that "Life is inherently self-centered". Life is simply we live our life is a choice.

        I believe knowing our "self" well, helps us be more compassionate, empathic and unconditionally loving with others. When we are aware of this practice, "being self-centered and other-centered are not mutually exclusive, as you insightfully say Anthony:>)

        I agree Eva...we can recognize and reinforce the "flowing from our attention to others...", and in doing so, we experience balance and interconnectedness:>)
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          Apr 21 2012: ... to amplify, understanding and acting on the difference is what makes us humans rather than just animals - ubuntu, I am because you are.
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        Apr 21 2012: Well amplified Anthony. That is one very important word/concept we can bring to the ears of our world because it is an idea worth spreading....Ubuntu:>)
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          Apr 21 2012: it is; if I had to pick one word to live by it would be Ubuntu. Another would be Illulu, which is freedom achieved through honour, self-respect, generousity, courage, honesty, and a sense of duty towards the group.
  • Apr 21 2012: For the last 6 years, my New Year's Resolution has been to live by Ghandi's quote, "We must be the change we wish to see in the world." My life has totally changed. If I care about animals, how can I eat them? I became a vegetarian. If I want a beautiful world, I must pick up the trash I see on beaches, streets, open spaces. I don't accept plastic bags. If I want a kinder world, then I must be that.

    Do you see where this can lead? I'm find I'm spending less time on "automatic pilot" and ma more aware of how we are all part of a system, co-creating our reality by countless daily thoughts, actions and conversations. I wonder how the world would be if we all practiced this. Imagine... you're an elected official and you vote for war. You send your children first, because that's the level of conviction you have - it's that compelling.
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      Apr 21 2012: If that were true, then those politicians wouldn't need to go to war because everyone would be busy working on ways to benefit the world and the future of the world. =)
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      Apr 21 2012: Donna,
      I HAVE imagined...many our world could be if each and every one of us was aware of what you speak about. Many times people think/feel that their little acts of kindness and responsibility won't make a difference, so they don't even try. I totally agree...'BE" what we want to "SEE" in our world!
  • Apr 21 2012: Do not seek to end the chaos in your life.
    Learn to live WITHIN the chaos - find your 'center' in it -
    and you'll master this life from the inside out.
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      Apr 21 2012: YES...YES....YES....
      Learn to be comfortable with discomfort:>)
      Be like the mighty oak in the middle of the storm:>)
      • Apr 21 2012: There are people who even draw strength from chaos.

        Think of it - for those, this chaotic world becomes...
        an endless supply of strength!
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      Apr 21 2012: Try to never be complacent. =)
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        Apr 21 2012: This is a GREAT piece of advise Derek:>)
        I tried to simply give you a thumbs up, but I'm maxed out for you today:>)
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      Apr 21 2012: Everything that happens in your life bears seeds of goodness. Everything.
      • Apr 22 2012: Corollary: In ALL things, be grateful
        (people confuse this with FOR all things... very different meaning :)
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        Apr 23 2012: Mwenjew and DW,
        I agree...there is opportunity in every moment:>)
        And...sometimes, we have to dig through a little dirt to begin to see the seeds sprouting:>)
        It is not always easy to experience the goodness unless we uncover some of the dirt!
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    Apr 21 2012: We are all pieces of a puzzle.

    All actions cause a reaction.

    We all have agency.

    There is always more than one option to approach a situation or answer a problem.

    Not all options are clear or desired.

    The option you choose will affect your surroundings.

    Your environment could change a tiny bit or it could disappear all together.

    Take your time and think about the options.

    Act according to an option that could benefit everyone, but do keep yourself healthy, sane, and progressing forward.

    Know that these actions has affected something, someone, or somewhere somehow.

    The world wasn't created in one day and the effects of our actions can take time to emerge, but you have made a change.

    In psychology, positive and negative is defined as giving/adding(positive) or taking/removing(negative), like giving someone a hard time or removing the week old smelly trash.

    Positive or Negative change is all based on your actions.

    Put someone or something elses history in mind because history repeats itself and don't be inconsiderate.

    Then think about the possible outcomes, and the ripples they could cause, whether a child, adult, object, animal, environment, etc. could be affected by your actions.

    You decide whether you want to impact your environment through positive or negative choices.

    There is always room for revision.

    Life isn't linear, so don't be linear.

    Now go and live like today is your last, but think like your life depended on it.

    Go hug someone or something you love.

    Thanks for reading my thoughts. Feel free to share yours. =D
    • Apr 21 2012: It's supposed to be one lesson, right?
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        Apr 21 2012: OOPS...Derek got a little carried away...good ones though....huh?
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        Apr 21 2012: I think that I'm more of a free writer, then refining ideas kind of person, but I still posted what I feel strongly about. =)
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      Apr 21 2012: Derek, were you copying and pasting or did you memorize all of these? LOL.....=P

      And, one final question, do you understand what these mean? drum drum cymbals =)

      Hopefully your answers will, no, and yes.
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        Apr 21 2012: Jim, Colleen: In my head, I thought that the ideas were one, but yes, it seems they came out to be more than one....but I would extract one major idea from the whole list:

        Think of your actions before you act. =)

        Mary!!! Hi!!!

        They were all in my head and I just finished watching a documentary earlier about deforestation and the poor orangutans and other animals being affected by it. It made me really think, then I got on ted and saw this conversation!

        You answered the questions as I would answer them, no, no, and yes. haha! =)
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          Apr 21 2012: Derek,
          I percieve EVERYTHING to be interconnected, so I agree...your post is all one:>)
          Apparently YOU percieve everything as interconnected as well, if you can watch a documentary about deforestation and orangutans and come up with the list you provided above:>)
          I LOVE IT!
        • Apr 21 2012: No problem.
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        Apr 21 2012: ps: my comments have weird spacing and I can't seem to fix it or it could be just my screen. My apologies if it is weirdly spaced. =)
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      Apr 21 2012: we are all pieces of the same puzzle

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        • +1
        Apr 21 2012: I am copying and pasting this quote on to another conversation started by James Kindler, on why don't people see we are one.....

        Hope you don't mind....=)

        And, hey, how are you? Haven't seen you around since the conversation on quotes I think?!!
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        Apr 23 2012: Ah, that is better phrasing. =)
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    Apr 20 2012: peace of mind is the only thing we are really looking for, and really after. nothing gives us peace of mind except for looking at things the way they really are, not with our limited perceptions.

    The only hard thing about finding peace of mind is just that, finding it. everybody has their own method. I read the buddhist dharma, and just reading the truth of the words is powerful enough to change mindsets and attitudes.
  • Apr 20 2012: It's wrong to have more than you need.
  • Apr 20 2012: We each have more power than Emperors and kings dreamed of. We have run out of excuses for killing or allowing starvation, etc. There are much better uses of our wealth than accumulating more and destroying the world to get it.
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      Apr 21 2012: The collective is more powerful than the influenting individual, but so many don't realize this!
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      Apr 25 2012: Perceived value is the hinge of humanity's monetary motivation. Its the choice of driving a Bentley or a Mini, socio-economic status is what most people make judgements on even though when I personally buy anything its because of my personal preference - not what i can personally afford.

      Gemstones are another resource that society has missed the mark on. Yea they're shiny and rare, but what creates value besides that? My thoughts are that these precious stones are concentrated energy that our living planet produces. We wear them for nothing else except for style and stature, yet ancient legends and lore speak of Atlantians using crystals to power their flying machines... we must learn to use what we have at our disposal to the best of our ability - WASTE NOT WANT NOT. Otherwise, blood diamonds will still continue to trickle out of Sierra Leon and will see no end in sight as long as we place the wrong types of value on our resources.
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    Apr 20 2012: Be civil, and listen to others even when you disagree with them. It is not ok to demonize a position or person that you do not agree with.
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    Apr 20 2012: Doing something that you are scared of allows you to grow the most.
  • Apr 20 2012: We are all human beings living on the same world, breathing the same air, drinking the same water and eating the same food. Therefore we should all endavour to get along with each other and share the important things. Isn't it crazy that we don't?
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      Apr 21 2012: should we not also promote inter-species cooperation and consideration?
      • Apr 21 2012: Absolutely, good point. Change that second sentence to (and correct the spelling mistake) :-
        Therefore we should all endeavour to get along with each other, share the important things and respect the other lifeforms who live with us.

        Being a tree-hugging vegetarian type of dude I should really have included that from the start :D
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      Apr 21 2012: Terry and Derek,
      I totally agree...we are living in the same world, breathing the same air, and we are more the same than different. We all might be SO much more content if we got along, with respect and consideration for each other and the earth which sustains us...great point! Yes seems crazy that we don't do it...we are missing an opportunity!
      • Apr 21 2012: Indeed we are, which is why we should never stop communicating and communicating and communicating until every one gets the message. Oh for that hypothetical megaphone to whisper softly into everyones ear ;)
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        Apr 22 2012: Its a bit crazy, a bit sad, and certainly an opportunity, at many levels - family, friends, work, our local community, nationally, internationally.

        Perhaps our most potent sphere of influence is ourselves and those we directly interact with, but we are not entirely helpless or voiceless when comes to what we expect from those who represent us. Perhaps our personal interactions with the most different "others" are also important.

        Isn't it strange how once you break down the artificial divides of ethnicity, religion etc most people are the same. Basically hoping for a good life and not wishing evil on most others.

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      Apr 23 2012: Dear Mark,
      I TOTALLY agree with you and Anthony're in good my humble perception:>)

      We have been taught, many times, that taking care of ouselves, giving ourselves time and space, knowing ourselves, etc. is selfish. If we don't take care of ourself and nurture ourself first, we don't honestly have anything to give to others. We cannot give to others, something we do not have in, and for our "self". The more we nurture ourselves, the more energy we have to give to others....and so......the cycle of flow continues:>)

      If we incorporated the idea of knowing ourselves into each and every aspect of the human experience....just imagine........I LOVE IT! I agree Mark.....It might make our world a better place for all:>)
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    Apr 21 2012: Think humanity & act positively......only action creates differences.....
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    Apr 21 2012: If you find yourself working too many hours, not enjoying yourself, and no one is going to die if you don't get that task in front of you done today then stop it now and laugh.
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      Apr 21 2012: Good advise Eva!

      "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused" :>)

      Laughter is WONDERFUL...healing and energizing!
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        Apr 22 2012: Oh, maybe that is why I often laugh and it doesn't always make sense at that second. Ha! =)
  • Apr 21 2012: Laugh
    When in doubt - laugh
    When in stress - laugh
    When in love - laugh
    Laugh to start your day
    Laugh to finish your day
    Laughter really is the best medicine
    Share it freely with yourself and with others
    Laugh from your very core
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      Apr 21 2012: I found out personally, when you laugh if someone asks you "did you do it?" they think you did it.....but otherwise yes! =D
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        Apr 21 2012: AAh, that is probably because they saw this TED talk:

        If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recomment it. (I'm not lying, I'm speaking with a serious face)
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          Apr 21 2012: OMG! Mary, I love that talk! It is on my list of favorite talks, but I favorite many videos. =P
      • Apr 21 2012: Thx Mary M - I'll have a listen to Pamela Meyer's talk - thanks!

        Derek - LOL! In all honesty though, if laughter was your intuitive response to the question, are you really concerned if they think you did it?! !)
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          Apr 21 2012: You are welcome Pamela....I have seen it twice.....then I had to stop, because you can get carried away, and start seeing signals in people and then distrust everybody.......but it's still a great talk.
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          Apr 21 2012: I happen to laugh when I'm super nervous, and I laugh at many things, but not always for reasons that other people think of. Maybe my brain is wired differently?
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          Apr 21 2012: Derek,
          Your brain is wired my humble perception!

          Laughing is often a nervous reaction, and you've already recognized that in yourself. It could be an opportunity to get information about yourself. Next time it happens, take a quiet moment to ask yourself what you are nervous about:>)
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        Apr 21 2012: Speaking from personal experience as a teacher, I have always noticed that boys laugh alot out of nervousness and not because they did anything wrong.

        I don't like to see this behavior in adults, because it makes me suspicious......also, it tells me they are not mature.......well, that is my opinion.......but that's me.

        While I love humor, there is a place and a time for everything. Sometimes though we just have to give people the benefit of the doubt.....understanding that laughter can be a result of being nervous helps us to do so. Thanks for sharing Derek.
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    Apr 21 2012: I would teach the value of humility. Humility helps us see more clearly, enlarges our view of reality, and is the basis for true freedom.
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    • +2
    Apr 21 2012: Always be on the lookout when you are bothered by what other people write and say,
    because this may reveal the kind of person you are.
    • Apr 21 2012: People are mirrors.
      If you don't like what you see/hear in these 'mirrors'...
      It's not the mirrors fault.
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        Apr 21 2012: We are all like mirrors, reflecting information back and forth all the time. What we see is our reflection. When we are clear in ourselves, we provide a clear mirror for others. I agree DW...what we see is not the mirrors fault!!!
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          Apr 21 2012: Do peoples professions and hardships of their own lives(possibly self-made) make them think on a personal gain level or monetary/company/capitalistic level? Like, when someone points the finger at someone else or has fallic thoughts. For instance, "he/she was mean to me for no reason" or "you always/never do say that".
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        Apr 21 2012: Derek,
        I don't believe that anything "makes" us think a certain you? As functioning human beings, we have choices regarding our thoughts.

        Regarding accusations...The information given to someone else with an accusation, often is our own projection/reflection of ourselves.

        We never know for sure what is going on in someone's mind and heart unless s/he chooses to tell us. If we think/feel "he/she was mean to me....", for example, we might want to consider that a person can only give out what is in his/her heart and mind at that moment. We don't have to accept it as our own...make any sense?
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          Apr 22 2012: Ah, Yes Colleen,

          I just really dislike how some people percieve money as bad, but it is the people who have the money and act poorly with it that gives symbols different meanings. I sometimes want to change these systems, but I have yet to gain that ability.
        • Apr 22 2012: .Actually there is something that "Makes Us" think a certain way ...its called the “belief words” (linguistic things that beliefs live in) … those things we use to think with. :-) And since everything is living energy systems ... the beliefs that have taken over our identity ... have literally taken over our society’s cultural system of experience. Case in Point … when over the past 50,000 years has the urge to stop killing our brothers and sisters stopped? Why is assignation with drones less “moral” than dropping 50 … 500 ton bombs on a village? Why does the human race still think it is smart enough to know who it is? Or … when will we stop defending “those belief-to-value supply chains” with our son’s dead bodies and call it patriotic?
        • Apr 23 2012: I like to think that we are what we believe and percieve, and those beliefs are based on our exprences which in turn have helped to shape our cognitons and even the coordiantion of neurons in our brains. Words and beliefs of others are nothing short of useless when your using your own person views as a refrence for the rest of society. Your speaking on the atrocities of war and using that as a schema for the rest of society...
          Do you think man's innate nature is to be cruel?
          And what your saying is kinda hard to understand, as it jumps in to topics that have nothing to do with one another and what society are you talking about all societies on Earth or a single one? And waht does dropping bombs on a village have to do with linguistics?
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        Apr 23 2012: Dear Lawrence,
        If you want to believe that "belief words" "make us" think a certain way, or that "beliefs that have taken over our identity ... have literally taken over our society’s cultural system of experience" be it.

        I prefer to believe that as thinking, feeling adults, we choose our beliefs. The beliefs do not control us...we control our my humble perception.

        Lawrence, consider your insightful statement in another comment..."When do you think ... you might be ready ... to want to ... become smarter than the beliefs you think with?"
        Great question!

        Edit: One hour later.
        I just noticed that I didn't respond to your comment addressed to me in this thread.
        I totally agree with you that money is not bad. Money is, as you say, a symbol. As with many other symbols, thoughts, ideas, beliefs, opinions, actions and reactions, it is how we choose to use them that is the important part. You, I or anyone else cannot change the whole systems. We CAN, however, change our own use of information, and together move toward changing the systems. There is power in there not?
        • Apr 23 2012: I would certainly hope there is power in numbers... if not then then the recent events in Eruope would give new information into what it would look like if an entire society was insane
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    Apr 20 2012: We are all more the same, than different.
  • Apr 20 2012: Just because you think a thing doesn't make it so. I'm speaking specifically about negative self messages, but I think the idea can be expanded.
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    Apr 20 2012: and to make the world a better place for future generations.
  • Apr 20 2012: Only this by von Goethe:

    “I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

    ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Apr 20 2012: Nice Guys Finish First.
  • Comment deleted

    • Apr 20 2012: Andrew, sorry I'm not sure i understood - when you say "This faulty logic is also reflected in our opinions of the poor and the wealthy." do you mean that following statements ("People are poor, because...") is faulty or you think that what we think (cause I think different than what you offered) is faulty, and this statemenet is what you would tell us, it's how it is?
      • Apr 23 2012: Sorry for the delay in responding.

        Maybe, assumption would have been a better choice of words. Due to our belief in free will we assume everyone can choose how they act or react to circumstance. Our Western religions, and thus our system of jurisprudence, are all built on on this assumption. Because we believe in free will, we punish those who fail to act in a socially acceptable manner.

        Taking that assumption a little further we tend to view others in light of the choices we think we have made. We chose to be hard working and successful, so logically those who are not hard working and successful are that way because they did not choose to be.

        Once we give up this illusion, we will find it far easier to understand and forgive ourselves and each other. Giving up this illusion will replace punishment with empathy and compassion.
    • Apr 21 2012: No one can choose what happens to them.
      Everyone can choose how they react.
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          Apr 21 2012: B - E - A - UTIFUL!!!

          Adriaan!!!! Hi!!!!
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          Apr 21 2012: Mary, may I add .... Veeeery veeeery , before your comment ??

          Braam Braam Braam !
        • Apr 23 2012: The only reason? There is no reason in our being here except for this experience.

          OR to paraphrase Carl Sagan, we are that part of the universe that looks out on itself.

          And one more from Mr. Sagan:

          "Human beings have a demonstrated talent for self-deception when their emotions are stirred."

          I like to think I'm here to share this experience, to be there with others to ask, or respond to, the question, "Did you see that?"

          "Yes, that is beautiful."
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        • Apr 24 2012: Your last comment did not have a reply link, so I am replying here.

          Do you honestly think there is any such thing as a mentally healthy Human? Let me supply one obvious example of proof that we are all batshit crazy, belief in gods and any other supernatural or metaphysical beliefs. The DSM out of necessity includes an exemption for religious beliefs, otherwise any of these beliefs would qualify one as delusional.

          Other than that obvious problem with your comment, it fails to make any sense at all. No matter how you couch your jingoistic premise, it is false.

          I really can't say anything more, you have your opinion, based only on your own subjective experience and anecdote, all of which is meaningless in the face of recent fMRI experiments.

          Until you are ready to accept we are individually incapable of understanding our own experiences you will continue to believe you are actively controlling your own life.
      • Apr 23 2012: "Everyone can choose how they react."

        That statement is not only incorrect, but is little more than the sort of stuff people post on FB when they are feeling down.

        Once we include everyone, we have created a false statement. Not everyone can control how they react. In fact, neuroscience is rapidly approaching an understanding of how our brains work that is leading to the conclusion that none of us control how we react to anything.

        Having experienced incredible loss in my own life, I can attest that we can't control how we react. Even those times when you think you are choosing, you are merely doing what you do. Our freedom of choice is limited to the choices available, and those choices, I'm not conceding any point, are limited by our time and place of birth, our parents, the structure of our brains, epigenetics, and the circumstances of our lives.
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      Apr 21 2012: Andrew,

      Thanks for your input, but I'm not sure your message is clear enough. For instance, what or who are you refering to by "Free will" and what is free will?

      Your example about the poor and the rich, what is the correct logic you are describing in correlation to Free will?
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        Apr 21 2012: Derek, he is saying that until we really and truly understand how the brain works, we really do not know the meaning.....significance......of the choices we make....of why things are the way they are.

        And until such time as we come to understand this so called "free will"........the freedom to choose, which is born from our thinking abilities (the brain)............we really won't know why we are in the condition that we are in.

        This of course is my interpretation.........Maybe he'll come in a little while and make me wish I'd kept my mouth quiet...LOL

        His first statement made me think of what we use to say to each other as kids when we wanted to say NO...........instead of answering any question NO........we would say..........I would if I could, but I can't, so I won't.............

        The world, and our lives, are the way they are because we have chosen to have it that way......our brains have not allowed us to do anything else with the earth or our lives for them to be in a different condition. This also is what I take away from his comment.
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          Apr 21 2012: Thanks Mary. I would thumbs up if I could. =)
        • Apr 23 2012: Mary, you've hit the nail on the head. Thanks!

          The next point is once we relinquish the illusion of free will how does this change how we view ourselves and each other.

          "Things are the way they are, because that's the only way they could be, if things could have been, they would be."

          Believing this statement true, that things are the way they are because this is the only way they could be, is a very liberating experience. I would say for an atheist this is similar to let go let god sort of thing.

          We must accept that we did in fact do our best at that point in time, regardless of how we view our past actions. Whether it was right or wrong at the time, meaning did our actions produce a net positive or negative effect, is an entirely different question. By accepting our limitations we will find it easier forgive ourselves and others.
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      Apr 21 2012: Interesting ideas you have there, but I think you would do better by skipping the whole "logic" idea. The behaviour your're writing about isn't logical because it isn't under rational control. It only becomes "logical" if you view it in a very long perspective, as results of evolutionary compromises to make the most out of our limited neural circuitry.
      • Apr 23 2012: Again, assume may be a better choice of words. We make assumptions, correctly or incorrectly. Our opinions of ourselves and others are formed in light of these assumptions. Because we assume we have free will, we are then free to blame some for acting in a socially unacceptable manner, and shower praise and adulation on those who are more fortunate.
    • Apr 23 2012: "Things are the way they are, because that's the only way they could be, if things could have been, they would be."

      I don't know about this..I always feel that you shouldn't take everything for granted. The fact things are the way they are, doesn't mean that this is the way they 'should' be. Aren't we constantly seeking for development which also implies change?
      • Apr 23 2012: The statement does not imply that anything is taken for granted. That is an entirely different thing, though perhaps if we did not take things for granted this experience would become overwhelming.

        The word -should- is neither used nor implied. All this means is that things are they way there are, because everything that preceded the present condition could not have led to any other result.

        Where we find ourselves at each event is at the leading edge of a 13.7 billion year odyssey. Or, more precisely, we are always at the point where the cone shaped casual boundaries of the past and future meet. When our lives are viewed from this perspective, free will is seen as nothing more than a simple human illusion. One of many illusions born in ignorance, and like so many ancient unfounded ideas destined to be dispelled by science.
  • Apr 20 2012: We really are in this TOGETHER! For better or worse! We are responsible for one another! We are stewards of our planet, of "The Commons" we share. There will always be challenges, but together we can solve our problems. The status quo is not acceptable, but together we can keep improving. We must cooperate or perish. Every thought, word and deed contributes to greater or lesser suffering. And yes, along the way we will stumble and fumble, but every stumbling block must be used as a stepping stone to improvement. Falling down is natural. We must support one another getting up and going on, together. Each of us has unique capabilities to contribute. We are responsible for striving to contribute our best, for striving to contribute more than we consume. Together we can nurture the best of one another and our shared experience. Who can know if there is a destination? But together we can make it the best possible journey. Total commitment is required. We really are all in this together, for better or worse, like it or not.
  • Apr 20 2012: Do to others what you would like them to do for you.
    • Apr 20 2012: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. . . my thoughts exactly, Karenne!
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    Apr 20 2012: Be curious about the world around you. Take the time to go to know your fellow human beings. Be compassionate. The arts are healing.
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    Apr 20 2012: Don't waste time being ashamed of your failures; learn from them and share your experience.
  • Apr 20 2012: One Lesson: Live Love Laugh, life's too short to get caught up in the drama others create. Be you.
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    Apr 20 2012: What i would say is that happiness is a voyage in life but not a destination. That graduating from school, winning that lottery, getting marriaged, changing your job, getting that dream job, driving that dream car or owning that property etc wont make you happy.

    Take your time to be happy now that is what really counts
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    Apr 20 2012: Live Life To The Fullest!!!
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    Apr 20 2012: A life of noticing the good in others, loving deeply, finding ways to serve, and consistently acting out of love and with integrity is a life well-lived.
  • Apr 27 2012: Life is too short to be small or meaningless. Thing big and act to build a better world.
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    Apr 23 2012: There isn't enough appreciation of the absurd. Ha-ha!
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    Apr 23 2012: Each thought produced by human beings deserves to be heard. Keep your vioce down for moment and listen to the person who's talking in front of you, without prejudgments.
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    Apr 22 2012: I'd say when all is a said and done really BELIEVING in SOMETHING and passionately following where it leads is what will result in fulfillment.**

    **....and it's shaping the DETAIL of your passion which makes the difference.
  • Apr 22 2012: The one single comment would not be a statement but a question and it woud be .. "When do you think ... you might be ready ... to want to ... become smarter than the beliefs you think with?"

    Boise's Meta Muser - author of "Navigating The Geography of Mind" an active research project in process.
  • Apr 22 2012: Correlation does not necessarily imply causality!
  • Apr 21 2012: Always ask, "Why?"
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    Apr 21 2012: Yes, I hear what you're saying Jorgen. But I have a modicum of faith and hope for mankind that we can create a fair and just world. With societies based on equality and fairness, not just greed, everywhere you look greed !! And with leaders who care and or, are fearful of the people, not the other way around :)))

    A pleasure discussing it with you.
  • Apr 21 2012: I think laughter could also be a sign of emotional maturity - the observer at play if you will. They say that nervousness triggers the same fight or flight response in the human body as excitement does. I sometimes provide laughter and humour into life-threatening situations (I spent some time in Afghanistan) because I noticed that it counter-balanced all the negativity and fear. I'm sure there may have been some who didn't appreciate it, but I know from personal experience that it helped me to step back from the fear/nerves and observe the situation from varying viewpoints. I watched Pamela's Meyer's talk and it is excellent! I would like to highlight what she said at the beginning about lying however - that we receive a lie bc a part of us wants to believe it. It's the 'thoughts create things' taking responsibility for what you have created into your life mentality. If someone lies to you, it is a lesson you chose to learn at this particular moment and spotting them as the liar is not necessarily the lesson. And while I agree that there is a time and a place for laughter, I also know from experience that it is way more often than we think. I have a friend who's grandfather recently passed away and two days later we were in a yoga class together and she farted out loud during a pose and we were both in tears laughing as quietly as we could! We can grieve, be angry, be disappointed and a whole host of other emotions, but we can also find things to laugh about in this very moment. Perhaps the wide topic of laughter would make for a great Ted Talk someday!!! :)
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      Apr 22 2012: Laughter gets my vote Pamela. My brother walked in today and just seeing me he started laughing. There are four of us an we tear each other to shreds. They are just the tip of my ice burg. Laughter can sting though so it's sincere apologies if the line ever gets crossed.
  • Apr 21 2012: My megaphone message - although probably whispered through the megaphone - would be that life and death, heaven and hell are states of mind, and that many fabulous examples and role models throughout history show us it can be done, realizing heaven. Everything can be taken from us - and quite likely will - but in our own mind we rule. From that inner kingdom we can connect with everyone and share the glory. This contagious message has inspired me so much, there isn't anything I'd like to spread across the universe more.
  • Apr 21 2012: If we could only endure the pain, whatever it may be: sadness, loneliness, physics, or anything else, we might be able to truly feel it for what it is. The vices we use, drugs alcohol, pills, are dampening that pain. By doing this, and by numbing us, they hinder our progress and stop us from seeking REAL solutions! These vices have crushed our discipline and given us a reason to NOT seek true solutions. Before popping the pill, feel the pain at its fullest and figure out what you are going to do about it. What reason do we have to seek real solutions if our vices numb the problem? Our vices satisfy our urgent need for instant gratification. Vices only give temporary relief. Let's move forward and work toward constant and never-ending improvement!
  • Apr 21 2012: Spend your resources wisely. Don't waste. Know that you are an organic part of (not master of) the world.
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      Apr 25 2012: I agree, but i did buy a Husqvarna chainsaw for my birthday one year :D
  • Apr 21 2012: There is no end she said to me
    We are joined each day that we will see
    Beyond the morrow will we breathe
    To learn the pattern that we might weave

    Steady flows the stream of time
    Confounded by no other's clock's chime
    But can we find the stength inside
    To not go trip another one's stride

    What we choose is not our own
    For those are what is only known
    Remaining for the world to see
    Along the branches of our growing tree

    The story does not end here for us
    Our's is a tale of the curious
    Never ending, always told
    A poem of creatures oh so bold

    What we see is for us to have
    For that we always choose the path
    The time is now to seize the day
    And make the world the way we may

    For this is what we are here to do
    To be the keepers of what continues
    So be happy with what we are
    And take our place amongst the stars
  • Apr 21 2012: Have real discussions and always know that your opinions are constantly changing. Always listen and learn.

    And smile! You never know what kind of positive effect it may have. Make someone's day.
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      Apr 21 2012: Smiles are a carrier:>)
  • Apr 21 2012: Everyone is trying to do their best.

    From the best of us to the worst of us we can all rationalise our behaviour for "good" reasons.
    Therefore don't judge, rather listen carefully and question everything that causes you pain.
    There is no evil in this world but stepping out of the state of love and judging either yourself or others.
  • Apr 20 2012: (Okay, so I can't reply to my own post. Here is the rest of it. Please read my first comment below this one first)


    In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

    It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

    - Carl Sagan
  • Apr 20 2012: Carl Sagan's lesson regarding the Pale Blue Dot (Earth). In my opinion it is the most profound lesson in perspective that you will ever hear.

    "From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us.

    On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was - lived out their lives.

    The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization. Every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

    The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors, so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings. How eager they are to kill one another. How fervent their hatreds.

    Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.


    (Continued in reply)
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    Apr 20 2012: RESPECT!!.
  • Apr 20 2012: My religious grandma recently asked me; what is it exactly that you believe in? And I suddenly was able to put into words what I am a believer of/what I know to be true.
    "I believe in serotonin."

    That needed some explanation, because she had no clue who this god was and from what book or continent he resided on. So I told her that it wasn't from a book or an existing, recognized religion (what really is though, globally. All depends on where you're born and what your influences are). Her face turned into a big question mark when I started to talk about the chemicals in our brain and that we produce a basic set of our chemicals ourselves, depending on what we stimulate our brains with. Serotonin is produced when we are 'happy'; in different religions and relationships generally, that part of our brain is stimulated in praying, meditating, singing, chanting, dancing and also when we feel like a part of something bigger than ourselves. This could be a community or a larger type of invisible energy, as long as we are recognized, by something we believe matters. This is called commitment. Especially when we feel like we are praying/reading/meditating/visualizing/dancing/sneezing/making love/shooting guns in the name of/for whoeverwebelievein. We stimulate that little bit in ourselves that makes us feel like we belong. Really ANY religion, is a bit of getting high on your own supply, and that is great if it takes you to higher, functional places. Just as long as you know where that fuzzy feeling comes from. Then maybe, we recognize that this energy we feel, is within ourselves, that we, our own cells, that we as humans just happen to be aware of, are to thank for this. And then we can create as much 'supply' as we want, when we know why to let go of depending on someone outside of our bodies and minds. I am sure that we can then trust each other more, let go of a lot of anger that is based on nothing.

    Also, this was supposed to be a short anecdote. Mmh... G'night ! :)
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      Apr 20 2012: I have been studying serotonin for a long time now. Most of it so you know is produce in the gut, 95%.

      To much in the brain causes anxiety. The right amount makes you feel relaxed.

      But Dopamine is another that makes you feel euphoric.
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    Apr 20 2012: keep your eyes n ears open.. don't believe everything you are made to...look around yourself and see whats happening in the world..dig in..look at the oppressed and do something to extent of your capabilities... and treat every single human being equally
  • Apr 20 2012: That is to open our heart wider than we may have ever done before, to allow us to get clearer about our purpose in life, to help us become more inspired about this magnificent universe we get to work in, and to enable our human mind to awaken to its divine birthright....
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    Apr 20 2012: One lesson. I think it would be that things are getting better. Despite the fear-mongering and the hand-wringing, the terrible things that we're becoming more and more aware of as information spreads more quickly across the world, and despite the very real problems the world faces right now, things are getting better.

    Globally speaking, things are shaking up. The bubbles are bursting. But things will come into balance and we'll be building our future on stronger foundations.

    That, or I'd like to deliver a message to the parents of the world. Lighten up a little and let your kids play.
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    Apr 20 2012: That there's a right way to live, and we all can feel it inside our hearts, if we trust them. That poets and prophets have been telling us this for thousands of years, and if we don't get it soon, it will be too late.
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    Apr 20 2012: The world was not made for humans.
    There is a world of beauty and complexity that goes on beyond our everyday life. It exists for its own purposes - not for humans to enjoy/manipulate/harvest.
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    Apr 20 2012: I heard a good quote on the purpose of life

    "To be good ancestors!"
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      Apr 20 2012: I like that one,we have something similar,it could mean many things but loosely translated

      "Caretakers for the unborn"
  • Apr 20 2012: I have been thinking about a road trip, a video camera, diesel powered vehicle run off cooking, and this question to travel all across the US. Asking collegiate types, students, doctors, celebrities, all walks of life.

    One thing I would try to convey somehow is that we are all here on this planet, (to quote the flaming lips) Do you realize that were floating through space, the sun doesn't come up or down, its just illusion caused by the world spinning round. Everyone you know will someday die. Life is short, lets work together as a human race, we are part of this planet as it is a part of us. Remove some of these ideas of validation needed to succeed, quoting Joe Campbell, follow your bliss!
  • Amy Lum

    • +1
    Apr 20 2012: Take a moment, close your eyes, take a few slow deep breaths, and in this moment shed all the pressures external and internal, stresses big and small, expectations of others and your own... forget it all for this moment. Now smile. Just smile. And know that you are deserve to feel joy, love, affection, kindness, compassion and you are capable of sharing this with others. Now open your eyes and let the sharing begin :D
  • Apr 20 2012: I would say "Humans! Get over yourselves, you are all nothing! Yet! But you can be something amazing, so stop thinking you know it all and start understanding that you have a LOT of work to do. So you better start getting along, and work hard!! We still dont even know why we are here yet we choose to fight each other! Its pathetic!"
  • Apr 20 2012: It only takes 1 person who cares to save another person.
  • Apr 20 2012: Pssst! Listen, the profound mystries of the universe haven't really been answered and have not changed since they were first recorded by the ancients. All efforts to answer them have only resulted in deepening their mystery. Go and enjoy all you can of life in the here and now, the past is gone, the future will never arrive. Don't cling on to anything, enjoy it and let it go, enjoy the next thing - repeat.
  • Apr 20 2012: That to even consider that you have the power to change things: your personal circumstances, your country's politics, your school, your diet, the world... means you are an incredibly privileged individual. Most people around the world don't receive that message, nor the education or access to resources to make those things happen. Against all odds, some do--and those of us who are privileged in a number of ways should work to help them.
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    Apr 20 2012: Everyone has given many good lessons! Life is the best one! HOwever, from my point of view, i say do not change your life goal because of someone. Want to be a lawyer? Do it! Want to be a teacher? Do it! Happiness is unlimited. Provide happiness and you will be happy!
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    Apr 20 2012: Life is a game and the game takes place now
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      Apr 20 2012: It must be more than just a game, right?

      Life is more than, "a form of play or sport, esp. a competitive one played according to rules and decided by skill, strength, or luck." What about love, wonder, art, discovery?

      However, we can all be game for life. "Eager and willing to do something new or challenging: 'they were game for anything'" (life...). What do you think?
      • Apr 20 2012: I really like that! Can I use your idea? :)
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        Apr 20 2012: Nope, its a game
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          Apr 20 2012: Are you a Catcher in the Rye fan, by chance as that is one of the statements found in the novel!
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      Apr 21 2012: Taking a step back I think that we need to learn to play before we can see life as a game.
      It is NOT about winning in the competitive sense though.

      For me, playing is about having fun and I learn best when I am having fun.
      We can learn a lot from children.
      If we see everything as something we can play to learn then we have so much more fun living life.
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        Apr 21 2012: I might add that is the more effective disposition as well as you are vastly more productive when it is a game. E.g. someone who is angry, antagonistic, or bored is not as productive as someone who is enthusiastic.
  • Apr 26 2012: Earlier, I posted a response that free will is an illusion, and that things are the way they are because this is the only way they could be. I sketched out some ways in which this illusion controls our opinions of our own actions and those of others. In a later comment I mentioned fMRI experiments were leading towards this conclusion. The replies that post received have lead me to a new lesson I find compelling.

    To learn anything new we must suspend our own beliefs long enough to to allow ourselves time to fully consider this new idea. We must ask, what if my belief is wrong. Humans have the ability to cling to their beliefs, usually based on anecdotal evidence, subjective experience, and religious indoctrination, in spite of compelling evidence to the contrary.

    This brought up the question: how are we to change our beliefs, if we can not believe, even for a moment, that everything we know is wrong? We have a faith in our beliefs, beliefs we are often convinced are knowledge, that limits our ability to move beyond those beliefs. Suspending the belief that everything we know is right, does not mean everything we believe is false, but we are unlikely to learn anything new if we are unwilling to ask ourselves, what if everything I believe I know is wrong.

    How do we convince people to accept peer reviewed evidence that contradicts a belief, when the belief is not based on evidence? How do we convince those who have suspended reason to apply reason? How do we get people to pretend for even a moment that what they believe may be wrong, when their faith in those beliefs, how they believe in their beliefs, is the very thing impairing their cognitive function.

    In other words, while some are defending their belief in their own free will, their unshakable faith in the validity of their own subjective experience, without independent evidence, is demonstrating free will is not only an illusion, but overcoming this illusion is possibly one of our most difficult challenges.
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      Apr 26 2012: Andrew,
      I agree that what you observe is a very compelling lesson:>)

      I totally agree that to take in new information, it is helpful to suspend our own beliefs long enough to allow ourselves to consider new information, and it is usual for humans to "cling" to their own beliefs because it is comfortable to feel secure with our own beliefs. Often, we/they will not consider new information because it may feel more comfortable to feel "right".

      I suggest that we don't need to label information "right" or "wrong", but rather "different"? I absolutely agree with you..."suspending the belief that everything we know is right, does not mean everything we believe is false". It simply means that we may be open to new information? To listen, consider and evaluate new information does not mean we have to give up previous information or beliefs. It means that we are open to evaluating new information....yes?

      How about also suspending our need to "convince people to accept...evidence that contradicts a belief..."? People will be open to new information when/if s/he is ready to take in new information for evaluation. I see folks on TED going round and round in conversations trying to prove him/herself right. Where do those conversations take us? Nowhere, in my perception. It becomes a competition.

      I believe "free will" offers us the opportunity to stay "stuck" with beliefs, and argue those beliefs the heart and mind to new information and try to understand other people's thoughts, feelings, ideas, perceptions and beliefs.

      I agree with you that " things are the way they are because this is the only way they could be"...I will any given moment. Our perceptions of things as they are in the moment, are based on the information we choose to accept at any given time...true? When we suspend our beliefs from the last moment, there's an opportunity to add to the information we already have in the heart and mind.
      • Apr 27 2012: You start many of your replies with, I completely agree, and then proceed to tear the post apart. If you absolutely agree, why do you repeat, rephrase, and explain the statement to the author, while skewing their message? I totally agree you completely agree...with anything you can reword...yes?

        I love your writing's…so…condescending? You go from sugary sweet to snarky in a few phrases. And what’s with the question marks at the end of statements? They make me feel like I’m allowed to disagree? Not.

        Your suggestion to not label information right or wrong is absurd. Information is either right or wrong, oh I get it, being wrong is different from being right…true? Labeling information –different- without regard to accuracy sounds like the dream of every creationist. Labeling false information as different gives idiotic stuff, like creationism, the same validity as say ...evolution...true? Teach the difference...yes?

        So, how about suspending our need to "convince people to accept…evidence that contradicts a belief..."? How about no, I won’t. People who base their actions on false beliefs are dangerous. They have caused the deaths of millions. Millions of people died from AIDS in Africa, because religious screwballs said god told them using a condom is wrong. Millions more may die because religious screwballs and tea baggers, mostly all religious screwballs, are willing to ignore science and pretend global warming is a lie designed to destroy the good ol’ U.S.A.

        No, information is not merely different. Information is right or wrong and people’s belief’s, while ignoring evidence and demanding equal consideration for their stupidity, can be deadly. Would you suspend your need to stop someone destroying your home or causing the deaths of your neighbors?

        If you were honest, you would admit, you never gave the proposition that free will is an illusion even the slightest consideration or given up trying to convince me I am wrong. Pot, meet kettle.
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          Apr 27 2012: Sorry you percieve that Andrew,
          In my perception, I was adding to, building on, and reinforcing your insightful comment. The question marks are to genuinely ask questions...that's how I communicate to build on a topic.
          I'm truly sorry the question marks make you feel is a way to communicate, which often creates more communication...which you have done:>)

          I don't generally like to label people's thoughts, feelings, and ideas good or bad. If you do, so be it. I believe in evolution. You can believe whatever you like Andrew, and I respect your choice.

          I agree that millions of people have died because religious leaders told them not to use condoms. Millions of people in developing countries also died because US pharma companies were experimenting with AIDs medications while telling the people they were getting a "cure". There are a lot of things that happen in our world that are not useful....OK...."wrong" if you like. Those people who were experimenting with people and distributing drugs under the guise of "helping" were scientists. I also believe that there is indeed, global warming.

          When I said information is often "different", I was refering to people's beliefs. No Andrew, I would not suspend my intent to stop someone from causing the death of my neighbors. In fact, if you've read so many of my comments on TED, you probably know that I challenged a toxic business that was threatening the health and safely of all those living in our community, and my life was threatened because I was the wistleblower.

          I am honest Andrew, and I comment with respect and honesty. Honestly, I don't know where YOU are coming from, because my comment above was meant to agree with, and build on your previous comment! I am sorry you percieved otherwise. I was not in any way trying to convince you that you are wrong. Perhaps you could go back and read my comment with a little more open mind and heart? OOPS...there's another question mark....sorry!
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      Apr 25 2012: Okay Paul,

      Though I am curious and open to understanding your perspective, I am in no way attempting to denounce that you are incorrect. I guess that sometimes, it is all in the delivery of the message that can really drive the audience to misinterpret your meaning.

      Going back to your comment, about comments taking a life of their own is absolutely correct! Isn't it amazing! I couldn't agree more. =)
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        Apr 25 2012: Derek:
        I deleted my comments. I think I skimmed the comments too quickly and thought they had all become responses to the first comment about parenting. I don't know if new ones came later but in any case, I see that people did tend to return to the original question in various ways. Sorry if my deleted comments caused unnecessary controversy.
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          Apr 27 2012: Paul,

          I think everyone has one of those days with blind bubbling emotions and it settles on the tip our thoughts, then the rest of that day seems bleak and meaningless at times. I feel that I have that happen a lot, but we all have the capacity for error. Although, it is the way we deal with these errors that will build the next path in life. =)
  • Apr 25 2012: Corruption, stealing and lying are ubiquitous features of humanity. No one can ever escape from them. So stop condemning it and looking at it like a weakness, but use it to your strength. Instead of telling our kids to stop lying we should tell them to stop lying to people who care and are cared for by them. Instead of telling our politicians to stop stealing we should tell them to stop stealing from their own constituencies. Stop stealing from your benefactors, start stealing for them.
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    Apr 25 2012: travel the world. the people + experiences encountered will teach you more about life than any formal education could ever conjure up.
  • Apr 24 2012: Learn to deal with mistakes, and learn from them to help others.
    This one is even deeper into the heart: learn to forgive.
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      Apr 24 2012: Good observation Paul!
      Discussions CAN indeed take on a life of their own....welcome to TED:>)
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      Apr 25 2012: Paul,

      I believe most of the commenters included the description into their thoughtful responses, and that is possibly how other comments don't necessarily seem like they may be responding to the original question. I am not sure what I could have missed, but maybe you could bring it to everyone's attention of what they missed?
  • Apr 22 2012: The idea that our future is created by what comes out of our mouths, meaning language. Integrity plays a big part in this, meaning that if you say you will do something do it. If circumstances are such that it can’t be done, acknowledge it and look for ways to make it right. Many people completely miss the second part and the future being created is affected accordingly.
    • Apr 22 2012: First, and principal, of "The Four Agreements", by Don Miguel Ruiz
  • Apr 22 2012: I'd say more attention for our environment and no more distinction between races!the sense of brotherhood is such a vital thing in order to reach happiness in lives
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    Apr 22 2012: Why did the existence exist in the first place?!?
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    Apr 22 2012: Beating overindulgence... I have had a problem with overindulgence of food and alcohol for some time now and I may be on to the answere for a cure (for myself) I'm not sure that it would work in all cases but I would like to share my ongoing experience.
    Since I have retired I have become 100 lbs overweight and this is largely due to inactivity, overdrinkind red wine in the evening... Which leads to the munchies, overeating. I know that a person has to reach a point where "Enough is quite enough" and that point is diffrent for all people, indeed some people never reach that point. I have not had a drink in 6 days now and this morning We (my wife and I) were invited to a wedding and reception. I knew that this would be a test of my weak will. Lots of food and as much alcohol as you could keep down. As I sat there with my miserable salad and self ,The hostess told me that there is some alcohol free red wine at the bar!!! novel idea. I tried the red wine with no alcohol and found that I could indeed have as much fun and inteligent conversation with out getting loaded and no hangover in the morning. I didnt even have or desire a peice of wedding cake. I danced with my granddaughter and for once noticed a sparkel in her eyes. I know this idea will not work for everyone but if it works for just one other it's worth writing this short peice.
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    Apr 22 2012: Not all the world embraces christian ethics or the Golden rule of love your brother. To be truely universal I would say that the message to the world must be personal to the inner soul of man. Since we all share the needs as expressed by Maslow that would be a wasted message. Communications is a two way process and not always received so I also discard that.

    The one thing that age has taught me is that I become more at peace with myself when I accepted who I am and what my place in the sceme of things is. So the message I would convey is to get to know youself. Once this is achieved then the other wishes that have been expressed will become possible. Jordan I hope that you can determine what is important to you and share it with others. All the best. Bob.
  • Apr 22 2012: Well, since poetry apparently isn't the answer, the most important lesson is that we have to yet to develop a good way to rationalize our relationship with technologies. We are rapidly approaching a day where there is not a single task a person can perform that a computer/machine can not do better.

    While we still debate whether such entities can truly have free will, the reality is that we have the science already to give them the ability to make their own decisions. This is not science fiction, and is already happening now.

    We have to do a better job understanding that we are the ones that assign value to the world around us. This is a fundamental role that we play. In the context of machine free will, while we are endowing the ability for machines to make decisions, those decisions are still algorithmic and thus are not entirely independent.

    The assignment of value is the last task we can still perform.

    I agree with the observation that we as humans are not going to change any time soon, I find it troubling that just like children our machines will eventually take on the personalities of their parents. However, there are enough good people in the world to not lose sight of what is good, and that should give us some hope.
  • Apr 21 2012: Here's the link to the article, "How Wealth Reduces Compassion."
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      Apr 23 2012: I'm not so sure about this study. Niceness of a car is really a show of wealth. Maybe it is better explained by narcissism, or the need to show you are 'better' than someone else.
      The second part, about watching the kids with cancer may be explained by a difference in dealing with conflict. Perhaps they are more pragmatic, instead of empathetic. That doesn't necessarily mean they care less.

      I'm not saying it isn't accurate, but I'm not totally convinced by this. It is interesting though :)
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      Apr 23 2012: HI Donna,

      I think one has to have a finer definition of the word "wealth".

      The way I see wealth is a measure of personal "potential agency".
      Humans naturally expand their personal potential agency via the expanded perceptive field granted by communication. It is all win/win.
      But when personal advantage is extorted or defrauded from others, you are then looking at unballanced wealth (personal potential agency).

      Money/usury is such a fraud, slavery is such an extortion.

      To indulge in fraud or extortion is to be devoid of empathy.

      Thre is good evidence that most of fraud and extortion is learned behaviour - i.e. the child is encouraged to sublimate empathetic responses. This produces the sociopath. There is another class that not only sublimates empathy, but inverts it - this is the psychopath .. the condition is traditionally ascribed to a genetic fault .. but there may be other causes.

      Either way, when the balance of win/win drifts into win/lose, the loser's capacity to generate advantage is damaged, this has a negative cumulative affect on the total potential agency of society. I suspect that process is logrithmic and will cause massive, sudden, systematic collapse of any society that does not correct the balance.

      My own personal studdy of this was conducted a few years ago in an online game called "tribal wars".
      I established a tribe, and systematically weeded out all the socio/psychopathic members and encouraged the empathetic individuals.
      We very quickly subsumed the game map to the limit of our tribal size. Neighboring tribes wanted to negotiate alliances and terms of peace as we were clearly a threat to them. SO I negotiated alliances and coalitions based on teh principles of "eating" the socio/psychopath. Within a few weeks our coalition dominated more than half of the game-space (100,000 players). Being a war game, it all got terribly peaceful and boring, so I broke-up the coalition and attacked everyone until the whole thing dissintegrated.
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    Apr 21 2012: I have four subjects that come immediately to mind. They are all worthy of those 5 minutes of people’s attention.

    * They all have the power to fire up the listeners’ minds and imagination.
    * The stories are both simple and compelling.
    * The insight they bring could lead to important changes in people’s lives.

    1) The dangers of sitting (the need for movement as different from exercise),

    2) The dangers of sugar (others have already covered this beautifully on TED, but it needs to be repeated over and over again)

    3) The need to embrace our reliance on the irrational parts of our mind, and the implications that this has for education, politics, religion and conflict solving … and almost everything else.

    4) The need for risk management around certain environmental toxins, the concept of synergistic toxicity, and the chilling possibility that these observations could explain the precipitous decline of male participation in tertiary education.
  • Saba Q

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    Apr 21 2012: Many times it is the "stupid questions", or assumptions, that are the best to ask, especially in science. Without knowing the foundation of a field, there is no way of progressing to more complex ideas. I don't think that a person should leave the basic questions for someone else to know - we all deserve an answer :)
    I agree that the hesitation to ask questions contributes to a less collaborative team. I think that fear of vulnerability is often the basis for our reservation.
  • Apr 21 2012: The solution to humanity's problems, and our own individual personal every-day problems, and every problem in between on the same line, will be found in never-ending fearless discovery the true nature and properties of our minds.

    Thank you for pointing us - me - in the right direction, Steven Pinker.
  • Apr 21 2012: We are loved.
    • Apr 21 2012: ...and love > fear
  • Apr 21 2012: Grace. Love coming at you when you don't merit it or deserve it. Anyone can love when it gratifies them. Grace loves when it is difficult. Not, who made this mess, but, how can I fix this? Grace => gift culture. Not just forgiveness. Grace. That is my one thing. I do seminars on this: the romance of grace, reasonable grace, the scandal of grace. It is incredibly compelling.
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    Apr 20 2012: Wow...what a question. I wish I were still teaching as this would DEFINITELY be an assignment for my students. I think their presentations would be so diverse and interesting, especially if I let them use their "intelligence" in order to present them and not do it all the same way.

    And as for me, I would have to think a bit.

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    Apr 20 2012: Be happy. There will never be a better time in the history of the universe to be happy than right now. The past is not negotiable and the future is uncertain, but we can deliberately choose happiness in this moment.

    Achieving more won't make us happier. We think there are a few things we need to achieve and once they're done, we can then be happy. There will always be a few things. If we thought about starting over again, with nothing but nature, we'd have a few things we'd need to achieve to be happy. Food, shelter, a steady supply of good food, and the company of quality people - they'd be all we really needed to be happy. We have that now. We're not happy. We just need augmented reality and global connectivity. Then we can be happy.

    Please, don't worry about all of this. Choose happiness instead.
  • Apr 20 2012: Don't be afraid to make mistakes
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    Apr 20 2012: Don't be the student who wishes that he/she had worked harder in high school.
  • Apr 20 2012: We are all human beings. Each of us has the same capacity to feel pain, pleasure, emotions, and we all have the capacity to form thoughts. As such, it is vitally important to recognize the humanity that resides in each human being; to become aware that others hurt just as much as you do, and because of this, we should seek to reduce the pain felt by others and if this is not possible to simply refrain from causing more. We are all human beings; we all deserve the same rights and the same freedom from prejudice, pain, hate, and have the same right to be loved. To love all others: this is the lesson I would share.
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    Apr 20 2012: I would encourage curiosity and practising putting yourself in the shoes of others.
  • Apr 20 2012: Look to yourselves and feel proud of what we Humanity have achieved!!!
    Ok...that's enough! Now...think...any reasons to be ashamed!?
    Yes!? Will you continue to live as before?
  • Apr 20 2012: Each and every person has a gift. Use it to help, serve or benefit the world around you.
  • Apr 20 2012: There is no meaning of Life. That's the beauty of it. It means you can find your own. You need to search for and be aware of; what exites you, what intrigues you, what fascinates and deeply move you. And then, when the answer permeates your body, and cannot escape your waking mind. Then, dedicate yourself, your life, your energy, your time, your entire beeing; to it.
  • Apr 20 2012: As much as I tend to run on, I will be succinct: population control!
  • Apr 20 2012: I would say something on the topic of empathy. I like to think of my body as a robot that I can never leave, my brain is the pilot. Everything that we consider to be the "self'" is contained in our brain, which pretty much makes your brain "you". You can see a person's outside appearance, and they can choose to give you information which might help you glimpse parts of their motivations or feelings as they relate to you, but it's like being inside a robot getting information from someone else who is inside a robot, you are never actually going to see the person inside. You will never truly understand the lifetime of experiences and thoughts that have shaped their brain into what it is today. So we never know what it is actually like to be another person, we can only know what that person may or may not be like, by gathering bits of information. So I guess... understand that you don't really understand, and be ok with it, and try to give people the benefit of the doubt.
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      Apr 21 2012: I think your saying never assume anything about someone?
  • Apr 20 2012: If I could emphasis the notion that happiness is momentary, and this fleeting emotion we have is beautiful in its fragility.
  • Apr 20 2012: Never feel too small to make your opinion heard. Respect yourself more than anyone else; everyone's just bumbling around making it up, trying to do the best they can, just like us. Don't have a naive faith in the superlative judgments of those in power or with long job titles, your voice matters.
  • Apr 20 2012: What I would try to teach would be that criticizing everything around us has become a strong trend. And while it is not a bad thing in itself, pushing towards factual evidence, people tend to take most issues out of context. In other words, the context is where anyone can start changing the world. Events being the result of actions, don't expect the future to change when the actions of the people in question are still the same. And for the next 5 minutes, perhaps, I would talk about those actions.
  • Apr 20 2012: Live the moment and being yourself at that moment
  • Apr 20 2012: That we should all take a break from trying to teach and, instead, learn. A bit ironic of me to post here, but there is always more to explore.
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    Apr 20 2012: Might be inappropriate, but what I would really say: "People of Earth, this is your GOD! I need a new successor. The last person standing wins."

    I wouldn't learn them any lesson to be honest, it makes people predictable which is never good. I might encourage them to achieve greater things in their lives, much more fun don't you think?
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      Apr 20 2012: Have you read Hunger Games? I think that kind of challenge would lead to revolt. I think people are happy working together to achieve a greater good, don't you? What lesson would you teach that would encourage everyone to strive for the best alongside one another?
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        Apr 20 2012: I did actually, though not through my own conviction.

        Well if you really want to know I'll tell you, but let me ask you something beforehand: Why are is the older generation, those close to retirement or even older mostly the ones that strongly believe in cooperation towards a single goal, a better future?

        Edit on dawn: I was reflecting more on the speakers who instead of creating something new want to adapt current means with new ideas, not create something entirely different out of a perspective of innovation. Those who see that any major change is going to happen over time-span well beyond a decade. The new generation wants everything now, but such thing is almost impossible without a leap. They see that they can't change anything with the current means to get what they want tomorrow, so they start setting up new initiatives and abandon the wisdom of those who have undertaken something similar. This is not wrong, but most of times it is not cost effective. What people have to understand is is that when they want to change something, it is not for themselves, every aspect of change has to be towards the new generation, those who are still studying or who have yet to begin.
        • Apr 20 2012: Kevin, I am 40 years old, no where near retirement or old age and I beleive in a better future, however there are many ways to do this...which is why we need to cooperate
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