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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 16 2013: Rebecca,
    You're not in a unique situation, of course. Most of us who are concerned about the welfare of the world feel exactly the same: we "struggle with the feeling that [we] have not done [our] part to contribute to the problems of the world." Join the club. So what to do?

    First, forget about making an individual effort. Unless you are that one extraordinarily charismatic person in a million who can stir thousands to action, in order to make a difference in the world you have to work as part of a team. Join an association that reflects your interests. There are associations in every conceivable field, whether it be environmental, medical, social, or whatever. The politician cares mostly about the number of voters supporting or opposing an issue, so in order to bring anything about you must show the strength of numbers.

    It's unfortunate that our "democracy" works like that, but the fact is that a small well-organized group making noise will have a lot more influence than unorganized individuals, even if the latter's views are the majority. The "silent majority" does not achieve anything.

    By selecting one or more issue that you're really on fire for, and joining a group that aligns with your view on that issue, you will find yourself among like-minded, and will (hopefully) find satisfaction in being able to contribute to the best of your ability.
    Paul Lillebo

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