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Corvida Raven

Community Catalyst, TED Conferences


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What is the single most important question that the youth of this era need to ask themselves?

The youth of today are growing up in a completely different world from their parents and grandparents. With all the technology, media, and economic problems of today, it makes me wonder about the questions that the youth should ask themselves.

What do you think is the single most important question that the youth need to ask themselves? What was a question you wish you would've asked your younger self?

Topics: life tedxyouth youth
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    Sep 13 2011: I believe that youth need to ask about the value of systems that define our reality. We assume that educational, economic and political systems are "the way things are" and no one seems to ask "Based on current understanding, what's the best way to do this?"
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    Sep 11 2011: I'm a teenager, and if there's one question that's important to me, it's "Why?"

    I think it's crucial to have that sense of healthy skepticism to question why the world is the way it is.
    I also think if this world is open enough for me to dare ask the question "Why?" to the given information or the established "norms", it's a world where we can hope and create a better future.
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    Sep 9 2011: "Why?"

    This question made me who I am today.
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    Sep 6 2011: the difference between freedom and self indulgence.
  • Sep 11 2011: "How can I help?" If we all adopted this outlook and helped each other we would be in a much better place
  • Sep 11 2011: I would say, How can i make the world a better place through the job(s) i will choose?
  • Sep 11 2011: "What kind of man do I want to strive to become, and what do I do to become that" Although we ask our self different questions at different points in our lives, so its a tricky question this topic is....
  • Sep 11 2011: The same as adults. What is my purpose and how do I achieve it.You may or may not need formal education to pursue your purpose. It may change, evolve, become achieved and need to be replaced. Not everyone's purpose is to change the world. I make things better where I can. The small things around me that people aren't noticing. I seek them and serve to fulfill them. I know that I have impacted others who have gone on to impact others. The ripple effect may create more good than I can ever know. Every great achievement can be traced down to small ones. Each step along the way someone served a purpose. Many others may find what appears to be a grander purpose. Someone's purpose may be to teach them how to achieve it.
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    Sep 9 2011: My idea is that they should ask themselves.....what is my purpose?

    I believe thousands and thousands of people wake up everyday and simply go with the flow. And by flow, I mean operating within whats around them in their everyday lives. Young students usually don't find out who they are, and what their purpose is they work like robots in school. They never learn to think for themselves with the traditional methods of waking up, listen to the teacher, do homework. It gives off a feeling of having a job, instead of a system that's supposed to help you discover your purpose. This is major problem in the U.S. We end up with young adults making a life time decision in the course of their senior year winter-summer.....some spring-summer...some just summer...some in a matter of weeks. Then they end up not happy with the majors and careers they picked. All because they aren't tuned into their inner purpose, and are just going with the flow.
  • Sep 9 2011: What is the deepest and most precious gift that I have that I can share with the world?
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      Sep 9 2011: Right on Philip - Sharing is the key
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    Sep 7 2011: My suggestion is: How can we do better than the generations before us did?
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      Sep 7 2011: My answers:
      - Solve the obstruction of ideological divides. (i.e., learn to understand one another and reach agreements -- not necessarily compromises. Or, at least find a solution to working around those divides.)
      - Learn from our mistakes, and take advantage of them.
      - Unite, and progress. It's really all we can do!

      - Use all non-destructive energy. No more gas.
      - Develop an effective public education.
      - Examine the ridiculous economic inequality.
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        Sep 8 2011: Hi Luke, yes, these are some of the answers but the answers are easy on paper. How can this next generation (upon which all of our hopes are pinned) actually implement them? Everyone in every generation might think that they know the answers but putting them into effect is the thing that has stymied us.
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          Sep 8 2011: Plainly put, enter politics as a movement. That's one way ideologies enter politics. (As this is really another ideology, that just takes into consideration the effects of ideological division.)

          Maybe have a candidate run for president on a platform of solving ideological divides, learning from past mistakes, and progressing. Probably won't get into office, but this is how a lot of issues have been brought to the national stage in the past.

          For the more specific issues, I believe solutions will inevitably happen, as society naturally progresses (and I see solving these as progress); we're just moving at an alarmingly slow, and dangerous rate, which is affecting millions of lives.
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      Sep 8 2011: In a nutshell- learn from their mistakes! (easier said then done, I know, but it needs to be said)
    • Sep 9 2011: what is 'better'?

      as an example, many people who object to the pollution caused by cars suggest things were better before the car existed, but remain ignorant of the stench and rampant disease caused by all the horse dung in the street. and that was when he had far fewer people to transport around.
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      Sep 9 2011: Focus on how we are the same and evolve to prize the differences instaed of fearing and ultimately destroying them.
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    Sep 7 2011: Will I lose this idealism when I grow older? (s c a r y )
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    Sep 7 2011: "Which dreams can I make real?"
  • Sep 6 2011: What limits will i put on my life?

    That's the question :D
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      Sep 6 2011: Or, who puts limits on my life? This will inevitably lead to your question.
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      Sep 6 2011: Great question Fadi!

      Luke, you're also right, that could lead to Fadi's original question. Both are very valid! You need to know the limits others are putting on you as well as how you're getting in your own way too.
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    Sep 6 2011: This is the question I believe to be most significant to individuals in my generation:

    What is important? -- There's so much raw data being thrown at me, I'm starting to drift away from texting and social media, because it's so much information, on top of the thousands of advertisements I've learned to block from my perception every day. While I don't expect all people of my generation to see why this question is important, it's crucial that they experience asking it. It is relieving to know that it's theoretically possible to be content without the need to imbibe more information.

    There's an overload of data, and I think we may well see some movements grow out of this. Maybe it's just me, but I feel overwhelmed by the prodigious quantity of things nagging at me. Asking this question forces one to evaluate and filter the data penetrating his or her life.
  • Sep 6 2011: Who am I?
    In all this media noise it's quite easy to loose yourself and become one of the crowd. Sefldefining is the first step to get to know the world, it builds confidence and clears up mind. I think its that. Who am I?
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      Sep 6 2011: I think this is a question everyone ends up asking-- not specific to our generation. However, I think the media we have today multiplies the importance of it. The media has become overpowering in that it effectively touches and influences the lives of every youth in our society.
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        Sep 6 2011: Great question roman, & good point Luke!

        The media has made a lot of these questions seem more important and urgent for today's youth to answer. Why is that?
        • Sep 6 2011: Youth are more vulnerable to bad influences of unfiltered information. And theres more of it these days. The selves are diluted in it.
          We're much of what people makes us. In our parents/grandparents world most of the environment was family, home and neighborhood and now theres this Globalization thing.
          I'm sorry I can't find words for my thoughts, as I'm in the middle of learning English, actually.
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          Sep 6 2011: Media can influence a child's ideas of what matters; for example, a shoe company can convince a child that its shoes will make him (or her) freakin' cool. This idea can seed a very materialistic lifestyle. In reality, it's hundreds of companies doing this meddling-- amid fragile child development.

          Another example is the similar effects of reality television on youth my age. It exposes its viewers to an alluring pseudo-reality and influences the behavior of youth.

          In effect, media (the media, social-media, television, advertisement) deeply affects the identity of children and youth. Because of this, it is crucial that the youth today determine what is important to themselves and understand who they are, not who they're molded into being.
        • Sep 6 2011: Luke I see we think alike. I meant the same thing just you put it in better words.
          Now the question is what comes first, defining yourself or filtering out bad influences so that they don't harm you affecting your self?
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          Sep 6 2011: I also agree that the media is a huge problem for the young. I think what needs to be realised is that the problems they see broadcasted to them have always been there...always and not only have we survived but flourished. It now seems more condensed by the media, covering stories from every corner of the world and sensationalizing it. I am suggesting building emotional resilience in the face of the negative media monster. I grew up not having the problems of the world on my shoulders. Todays young have to deal with violence both local and global and are even pressured to take responsibility for the environment and future of this planet. I feel it is unaceptable emotional pressures placed on growing impressionable minds before they have developed the managing mechanisms of maturity.

          To the parents of young children: in my opinion get them away from the tv and media. Let them enjoy thier young precious years of chidhood, let them dream and play in the dirt. Help them to have playful adventures and most of all teach them love and therefore respect. Dont enable/empower them to deal with adult concepts...after all, thats what adults are for. It is our job and we must not shirk from it by misdirecting the responsibility. We owe at least that much to our children.
  • Sep 12 2011: Youth need to ask themselves "if they have the courage to live the life that they want?" In today's society love has come to mean to suffer. A lot of youth tend to make decisions in life based on what their parents want because they love them even though that decision is NOT what they want. If youth have the courage to follow their interest despite disappointing their parents, they are much more likely to be successful in their careers and actually make a difference in the lives of the people around them.
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    Sep 12 2011: Am i passionate and courage enough to face the challeges of the modern world ?How is my thinking going to influence me and my community?
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    Sep 11 2011: Wanting to fix a problem inherently changes your level of consciousness.
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    Sep 11 2011: 'The single most important question' is a tricky question. Personally, I think that anything important requires more than 'single question'. It is simply because we ought to know whether we are asking the right question for the right matter.

    Anyway, we should be asking ourself two most important question which is 1st - 'what do we want?" and 2nd - 'what choice do we have?'

    These two probably the most important questions that not only the youth but the adult should be asking themselves and the rest is only the detail.
  • Sep 11 2011: Personally I think that it's not always important to "be happy" but to be able to recognize and deal with different moods in ourselves as well as others. Sometimes I just want to be left alone and sometimes I need to just leave others alone. If we can be cognisant and accepting of each other, I guess that will help us to navigate life and leave life on earth with peace in our souls. So if the youth can ask themselves "how can I create civility and peace in this world?", they'll be doing okay in my book.
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    Sep 10 2011: How can I fix what is broken?
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      Sep 10 2011: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Albert Einstein
  • Sep 10 2011: Who am I and are we? Where do I and we come from? Where am I and we going?
    What is this world? How should I live?
  • Sep 10 2011: How do I make things better than I found them?
  • Sep 10 2011: When you decide to do something, try to ask yourself :What kind of result will it cause?
  • Sep 10 2011: How are my actions affecting others, directly or indirectly? Positive or negative effects.
    Do I need help or support?
    Do I know who to go to ask for it?
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    Sep 10 2011: What is my talent...what do I love?
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    Sep 9 2011: What is my priority ?
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    Sep 9 2011: What is my contribution to mankind????
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    Sep 9 2011: the question i often hear when we debate outside of class is;
    "why can't they just leave us alone?"

    the second most often question i hear is, "should we care about what parents/society/adults think?" a lot of my friends have advocated that we just wash our hands of you and go to sit out the coming natural disasters due from global warming and just do our own thing. there seems to be a hell of a lot of resentment about the assumption that because we were born in this society, we belong to them and have to follow their rules.
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      Sep 9 2011: I see it as an issue that "youth" see it as an us and them thing. When did it stop being WE? and how do we bring it back to US.
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        Sep 11 2011: i would say a large majority of adults see it as an us and them type thing. "ur the ones with wars". you know?

        youth gotta see we are the ones with wars.
        only adults are the self-responsible ones.
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          Sep 12 2011: I also see it as an issue that adults see themsleves as apart from youth - afterall youth were adults 20 years earlier and adults will be seniotrs in 20 years.

          I don't know if adults or youth or seniors or babies OWN wars - I think wars are all ours, as we all live with the damage, the destruction and the division that they cause.

          If there was only WE and no US or THEM - would there still be wars???
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      Sep 9 2011: Why are these youths asked to bear the emotional burden of their parents? Are they mature enough to take on adult concepts? I feel you have not been clear in your post. An observation.
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        Sep 11 2011: i must congratulate you in your clarity- however it seems to me that you have not been clear with your first question, what do you mean by the 'emotional burden of their parents'?
        to the second question; yes, a large number of students are more than able to 'take on' adult concepts and have been since we were 14, although i would say a large majority of us are uninterested in asking such questions and care more about things like football.
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          Sep 11 2011: My appology Tom, you have answered my second question and indirectly my first. The thread question is asking about children when citing talks related to this topic. In your first post I thought you were discussing kids not young adults, in which case they are indeed old enough to deal with the emotional burdens that are associated with most adult concepts. Thank you.
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      Sep 9 2011: Tom...Unless there are some kind of rules (not mine lol) there is chaos.
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        Sep 11 2011: chaos has a bad implications in english, even though i would say it is the natural state of affairs.
        everyone has their own set of rules, or moral values and without a form of government people revert to these rules, which poses the question; "are people inherently good?" if they are we wouldn't need a government to set laws or to uphold them. if the answer is no, more likely, then it would revert to the strong take and the weak serve.
        anyways i wasn't implying anarchy i was simply stating that many of my friends think we shouldn't have to be confined to the country were born in if we don't agree with its government.
        some people just want to be left to their own devices and let others worry about politics and 'perceived threats' and money and things like that
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          Sep 11 2011: You have a point, Tom. I have to think this over. I'll have more to say.
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          Sep 12 2011: "Responsible freedom of self determination, becoming truly
          self-confident and free, to unconditionally be responsible for oneself,
          without being coerced to accept some higher authority."


          i like how this puts it. btw this is for tom
    • Sep 12 2011: when you (or your friends) say "we just wash our hands of you and go to sit out the coming natural disasters due from global warming" there is a problem in that the average temperature will go up 6 degrees C in the next 100 years and mankind can't keep living in that environment because wheat and other food plants won't grow! so, yes, us adults caused the problem but everyone who understands what's happening needs to get out there and educate sweetly (not arrogantly) that a low carbon economy NOW is v important and lets get on with it
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      Sep 12 2011: On the one hand, there is nothing you can do about the society you were born into, so it's not worth the effort revolting against this fact. On the other hand, I think they "why can't they just leave alone?" also should be heard. It is true that imposing an older generation's rules on the one that follows is only helpful to a certain degree: every generation grows up with its own tools and at its own speed and we should keep this in mind when we ask ourselves what "young people" should or should not do.