TED Conversations

Rebecca Lynn

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What is my obligation to society and the world?

I am a person that was born in good health, to a great family, a relatively high IQ, and with financial means and connections. I have struggled my entire life with feeling that have not done my part to contribute to the solving the problems of the world. Is there a TED scholar in this community that can help me come up with a realistic goal that would allow me to feel satisfied with my contribution to the world? I would love it if someone could come up with a talk relating to this subject.


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    Sep 14 2013: well, I wouldn't discount small things. For example, I like to walk, and if I see big piece of litter I usually pick it up and find the nearest trashcan to put it in. I often find abandoned clothes, so I bring them home, wash them, if they fit I wear them, if they don't I give them to charity.

    Also I wouldn't discount reporting things you see that are amiss. I used to live in a neighborhood with immense amounts of graffiti. I would report it and the city would come paint it out. True, the city did the work of painting it out, but I did the work of telling them where it was.

    Actually, a lot of the things you do to benefit yourself help others into the bargain. For example, I have had neighbors in apartments start playing loud music, and I would go ask them to turn it down. This was done for my benefit, but I think it also helped other tenants whose rooms the music was bleeding into. Right now I'm trying to get the noise reduced from the supermarket loading dock across the street. This is done first for my benefit, but it will also benefit other neighbors who have to listen to it.

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