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Jordan Reeves

TED-Ed Community Manager, TED Conferences

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What is the most important thing you've learned on your own?

In three sentences, explain something that you've learned without being told by another person -- something you've figured out all by yourself. Here's an example:

"I learned how to paint with water colors by reading a book and searching for YouTube videos. It took me a while, but I figured out some techniques that really work for me. I'm not an expert yet, but I have discovered a real joy in painting."

It can be anything -- a practical skill (like painting) or a knowledge set (like how to use mathematics).

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    Feb 25 2013: I am what I want to be and not what other people think of me. When i was 3 years old, my mother and I were in a car accident; I survived, she didn't. I am now 18 years old.
    As devastating as it was, I'm thankful (in a weird, hindsight-led way) that my mom died when I was young. After she died, there was an outpouring of love that came onto out household. It seemed like everyone my mom and dad had ever known was calling us, the phone was constantly off the hook, and they were offering love. In a way, my mother's passing led to me being raised by the community we lived in.
    Now, here I stand 15 years later and I'm very active in activist circles campaigning for social justice, I slam poetry, and all the local business owners know me on a first name basis.
    The most important thing I've learned on my own is that from every loss, every devastating blow, there is good. Although it may not be obvious, or it may not reveal itself until decades later, it is there. I am a child of the streets, even though I have a loving father, and I consider everyone in my community a member of my extended family.

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