Iffit Qureshi

Photo journalist, communication adviser, speaker, life coach, Humans of Oslo

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If we were to let go of our inhibitions, our fears and yes our ego wouldn't we open ourselves up to more meaningful interactions?

My question is base on my experience of starting and running Humans of Oslo - Facebook page which came about after the Oslo terrorist attacks on 22/7-2011.. It resulted in my own experience of letting go of my ego and the constructed categories we use to give ourselves meaning. There is so much more we can experience by setting ourselves free of labels. Most of the labels such as religion, colour, ethnicity, class, interests, disabilities and gender actually prevent us from truly interacting based on mutual respect and an understanding of our common humanity and shared experiences.
My TEDx Oslo talk

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    Nov 30 2013: Hello Iffit and welcome to TED conversations!

    I agree that letting go of fears sometimes allows us to open to more meaningful interactions. Fear may serve a useful purpose in some situations when one needs to "adjust" something in our lives....like run from the bear who is chasing us....don't go too close to the end of the cliff while hiking, etc. However, holding onto fear is a "speed bump" to fully exploring the life adventure, in my perception and experience.

    Letting go of the constructed categories, as you say, I think is very important, because some of those constructed categories include fear. The constructed categories are usually a human construct....we are sometimes told what we "should" or "should not" do....how we "should" "BE" in the life experience. Some of this information given to us as children is valuable.....don't run in front of a moving car for example. You mention prejudices, which I believe to be totally useless in a genuine exploration of people and the life adventure. With prejudices, we simply deprive ourselves of information which could usually reveal that we are all more the same than different. Prejudices cause us to deprive ourselves of information which could create more understanding and mutual respect for all of us.

    I totally agree with you...."there is so much more we can experience by setting ourselves free of labels", which often prevent us from truly interacting on many different levels. When we can experience a life free of the labels, it creates much more openness to the life exploration, which creates more enjoyment, productivity, and contentment with the life adventure:>)
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    Nov 30 2013: Meaningful? I need more information in relation to more or less meaningful.
    Nothing has meaning untill we bring it along and attribute it to experiences. But there is an intimacy of the experience that occurs when we go beyond labels and face reality without defenses.