TED Conversations

Cleo Abram

Student , Columbia University - Columbia College


This conversation is closed.

We can learn by exchanging and discussing our own lists of "10 Things I Know to be True."

After listening to Sarah Kay's beautiful speech and poetry, I tried to write my own list of "10 Things I know to be True." I learned one thing immediately: I don't know much. I learned a second thing more slowly: that's okay! I tried to distill my limited understanding of the world into this list, without being overly philosophical nor literal.

One thing I know to be true, but that is not on my list, was that Sarah Kay was right when she said that if you share your list with a group of people you will find that someone has one thing very similar, someone else has something totally contrary, another person has something you've never heard of, and still another has something that makes you think further about something you thought you knew.

So let's share ours, and find out! What do your lists have on them?

Here's mine:
1. Fiction can, at times, feel more real than fact.
2. One person, with a good idea, can change our world.
3. There are things about our universe that we will never understand.
4. #3 is not an excuse to stop trying.
5. Everyone has a story worth hearing.
6. There is always another side to the story they tell.
7. Questions can sometimes teach more than their answers.
8. Children can sometimes teach more than their parents.
9. Everyone should travel.
10. No one's truth is universal.

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    Oct 22 2011: 1. Change is inevitable
    2. Change brings pain
    3. Pain catalyzes growth
    4. #3 happens when you shift your consciousness
    5. Growth brings wisdom
    6. Wisdom brings open-mindedness
    7. Open-mindedness brings empathy
    8. Empathy connects us
    9. Connection brings happiness
    10. We all want happiness, but some are unwilling to accept change.
    • Oct 22 2011: You sir, are now my face book status...those words need to be shared with as many as possible! Thank you for your thoughts!
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      Oct 22 2011: Hi AJ,

      Are these original to you?

      I would like to copy them to my quote file (I collect quotes) and want to know if I should credit you or another source.
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        Oct 22 2011: Thank you both. Yes, they are original from me; with inspiration for #9 from Tony Robbins (Connection being one of his 6 human needs).
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      Oct 28 2011: Your #2 made me think of something I once heard somebody mention: "pain is inevitable, misery is optional." ;-)
      • Oct 28 2011: FYI: it's a Dalai Lama quote :)
        Loved your list!
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        . . 100+

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        Nov 16 2011: "Pain is inevitable, misery is optional."

        - Dalai Lama

        Nice Joep!!
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      . . 100+

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      Nov 15 2011: AJ !!!!!! I LOVE THIS

      "1. Change is inevitable
      2. Change brings pain
      3. Pain catalyzes growth
      4. #3 happens when you shift your consciousness
      5. Growth brings wisdom
      6. Wisdom brings open-mindedness
      7. Open-mindedness brings empathy
      8. Empathy connects us
      9. Connection brings happiness
      10. We all want happiness, but some are unwilling to accept change."

      It is #4 that is our (humanity's) biggest challenge.
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      Nov 17 2011: Your words are great and I would love them to be true. But don´t we experience the opposite quite often - and still the world is improving!?
      Here some examples:

      1.) stability generates happiness - especially children need stable and securing love

      2.) growth brings blindness - especially if growth generates wealth. see the greed system in stock-markets; growth until overkill.

      3.) children are most empathic, it is not learned, it is given - and regularly unlearned by knowledge and open--mind-methods. empathic is not about the mind at all. even if you do not understand a matter, you can built an empathy for it.

      For me the greatest challenge is to transform personal persuit of happiness to collective peacefulness and humbleness. I am afraid §shifting consciousness" (Nr. 4) is too abstract and easy for me - aren´t children doing it every morning at school?
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        Nov 17 2011: Bernd, thank you for your response. A few points...

        My list is NOT to say that one thing is the ONLY thing to bring another, but rather that it does. With that being said, stability would be another way to happiness, but I would rather see it as comfort. Is it not only a matter of time after a period of stability that one becomes unsatisfied?

        The second point would be under the assumption that growth is synonymous with wealth-which I don't believe to be true. I would say that wealth can bring blindness instead. But to even put that point aside and to think within your framework, weren't individuals happy as their net worth increased as a result of the markets? When financial markets tumbled and much was lost, that is where I would view the start of my list (although one of my points was that each line item can be viewed as their own separate truths rather than part of a single cycle). People lost monetary value-a change in their lives that brought them pain. It would not be until they view all that has changed in their lives in a new light that growth will occur.

        I would disagree in saying children are MOST empathic. I recall a TED talk even showing a study that in child development, there aren't signs of empathy until a certain age (somewhere between 5 and 7, I can't recall). And I would say that it is learned from their mother/father by their examples of empathy. Do you truly believe that empathy is unlearned? Have you never met someone who you see a little of yourself in and can understand their perspective, even if it were a matter you understand better now and may have been previously ignorant to? If you do not understand a matter, you build an empathy for parts of which you do understand.

        I am unclear of that last one, but to my earlier point- there are other ways of reaching a stage.

        Lastly, as I thought about it, if I would to add another item to the list, it would be that Pain is relative.
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        . . 100+

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        Nov 17 2011: Shift in consciousness is understanding that which was formerly not understood and accepting it heart, mind, body and soul and thereafter allowing it to be. This is growth. There is no money involved and yet this is the only thing of value. It actually is priceless.

        It is impossible to shift people's consciousness collectively. You can only provide the conditions that inspire and nurture. This happens in each human as an independent and individual process. Each person must respond to their inner guidance in order to elevate their own level of consciousness. Children burst into this world eagerly with all the right equipment, as phenomenal beings with unlimited potential, but the world, as built by those who got here before them, is set up with all kinds of obstacles and blockages, which takes away their wings and turns them into boxed-in limited adults, who can survive best when behaving as sheep. So saying "growth brings blindness" is like saying " money corrupts". Blindness and corruption are choices one makes. And are usually of one's refusal to allow understanding and existence of the knowing, in other words elevation in consciousness.
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          Nov 20 2011: agreed juliette when you say: growth brings blindness" is like saying " money corrupts". but it is not the only way to understand blindness by growth. by growth you can get narcissistic or vain. every growth - even the internal balanced personal - tends to make one blind for the own failures.

          I totally agree with your desription of the childs blockages. But can this really be changed? Even the consciousness and wise man will be a blockage to his children, because it is the nature of growing up to overcome the educator?! Isn´t this a circle even the best wise man and women can not leave?
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        Nov 21 2011: I agree with AJ that change is inevitable, even if stability is preferred and necessary to develop culture. Too strict a dependence on stability ignores the realities of motion and destruction, to which all species have undergone a series of adaptations (a natural response to change) in order to survive. The instinctual animal flees minutes before the first tremors of an earthquake are felt by most of us, while the permanent structures we created our sense of stability with shake and crumble.
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          Nov 21 2011: i would not disagree that change is inevitable. let me try to say it like this:

          we do not need to strive for change since it happens any way. it comes upon us - that means "inevitable".

          but to cope with change you have to have a basis, a self-trust and consciousness, and especially growing up with family stability or at least love.
          i believe we need to push and promote this stable trust since it is not inevitable. it is the exception.... it is more pressious. and thus - if it happens once in a while - it generates happiness.

          I hope i can explain myself more clearly.
    • Nov 21 2011: I like #9 EJ I dont think I have told you.
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      Nov 22 2011: AJ....your key word is change, and I, like many others have a heartfelt recognition for it. If we want our world to be better for all, we have to swing into action. Loaded words uttered, we talk about talk, but action is not as easy. We, who live in democracies cling steadfast to our cushy lifestyles. To give up any of it means sacrifice.
      "Why should I if others will not?"....or...."I worked hard for what I have". If nothing changes with me, my world remains the same. Ultimately, have I chosen yet?
  • Oct 22 2011: 1. First impressions are often wrong.
    2. Second impressions are seldom wrong.
    3. No apology can unsay a hurtful thing.
    4. Encouraging children to excel is good parenting. Requiring children to excel is not.
    5. It doesn't take a village to raise a child. It takes a parent who cares.
    6. The universe is a very large place. It's statistically impossible that there isn't intelligent life elsewhere in the cosmos. It's statistically improbable that such intelligent life has visited this little backwater planet.
    7. There is no honesty in politics. There is no responsibility in government.
    8. Committees are a waste of time and effort.
    9. Proof abounds that God exists. You don't have to believe for it to be true.
    10. Nature scoffs at man's hubris.
    • Oct 22 2011: 9. On what planet, in the universe, are these bountiful proofs? Cos they ain't here.
      • Oct 23 2011: Lay on your back on a clear night and stare into the sky. Do you see all that wonderful expanse of stars? Where did they come from? A single cosmic cataclysm? Before that, how did all that is come into being? If you believe that you exist and that the world exists and that universe exists, then you have to understand that without God, none of this would BE.

        Need more proof, look into a microscope. Look at the smaller and smaller particles until you get to the smallest semi particle and ask, what is smaller than this? And how did this and this and this learn to exist in this pattern? Why does a quark do what it does and why does an electron and a proton attract each other instead of repel?

        God isn't in the man made manifestations but in all things. The visible and the invisible alike. God is so much more than what man thinks and can understand, so man assigns God characteristics to make God seem more like us and not the natural origin of the universe.
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          Oct 23 2011: there you go, "the nature talk". That's an extremely flawed argument, just because someone doesn't understand where it all comes from, doesn't mean that you can fill in the blank with an invisible person in the sky. It's called "the argument from ignorance fallacy". I'm not calling YOU ignorant, that's what the fallacy it's called. If you're giving your god the property that cannot be understood by us humans, then why bother? Anyway, peace. I loved your first 7 points.
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          Oct 23 2011: I think you're all talking about the same thing. The disconnect is simply the semantics of how we define "God."
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          Oct 23 2011: It is not so much arguing that some grand mystery must exist because we don't understand something (i.e. ignorance fallacy). It is that there is never an end to the questioning, that there is always something beyond our grasp in virtually every facet of human life that is the grand mystery. Whether one denies the mystery, basques in it, or fills sutures it with language is pretty much the ultimate personality test.
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          Oct 23 2011: Jas: No matter how you fill in the blank with something that "cannot be understood" or "defined", you are still superficially and falsely removing an unknown with another unknown. In reality, you haven't solved anything. However, you've tricked your mind into thinking that you have the answer, preventing you from further inquiry. In other words, the god answer doesn't answer questions about the unknown, it stops them.
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          Oct 23 2011: Tony - You seem to suggest that the entire equation is fundamentally changed because one variable is substituted for another. Whether I write the equation as x + 2x = 10 or y + 2y = 10, solving for the unknown variable will get you the same result and the substitution does not trick me into thinking that I know the answer simply because of the substitution. It isn't a matter of "removing an unknown with another unknown" but simply a question of labels. Trying too hard to categorize what is and what isn't god is a game of semantics that simply distracts from the task of trying to find answers.
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          Oct 23 2011: Phil, I normally wouldn't get into this can of worms, especially not on here, but based on some of the questions you asked I was compelled to respond.

          400 years ago there were many things that we didn't understand about nature. At that time, simple things we couldn't explain were quite simply explained by the existence of God, to the satisfaction of many.

          However, 50 years or so would progress, and answers would be discovered by diligently inquisitive characters known as scientists. more often than not, these discoveries would create new questions.

          More time would progress, and more things would be discovered that we couldn't yet explain, and the answer by many would be God. However, time, curiosity, and research would reveal the actual answer, and we would move along.

          Now here we are in the present day, with logical and provable explanations for quite a many things in nature that were once attributed to God, and somehow yet, for what riddles we have newly discovered and not yet solved, so many still use the answer of God.

          If any lesson is to be learned from our history, could we not safely assume that the answer to the questions you posed above will be revealed in fifty to a hundred years? Then you will have something new that we will not understand, and can again use God as your answer.
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          Oct 26 2011: There is no God. At least not in the traditional sense of the word. The universe is infinitely complex, and we are part of the universe, so if you redefine the concept of 'God' into something like nature, or eternity, or that which stands beyond the knowable universe, behind the singularity and before the big-bang, etc. Then we can say that god could exist, but there is no evidence that 'God' is anything other than a human concept developed out of man's insecurity and recognition of our finite existence, and used to control power by influencing irrational minds. To base your decisions and choose your actions based upon such supernatural fictions is foolish at best and potentially dangerous.
        • Oct 27 2011: If you equal "god" as nature, why don't you just use the proper term - nature. If god is something else, explain what it is and then show us how looking at the stars would lead one to think there is a god which you describe.
      • Oct 26 2011: Ah yes, there is no God because there is no proof! I say because the universe exists, God exists, there's your proof. Before there was the universe, there was an infinite power that could create a universe. That infinite power IS God. Just because mankind is incapable of grasping something so infinitely large and infinitely small at the same time, we struggle to define the force that allows our very awareness of being. I take great pleasure in acknowledging the gifts that God has bestowed upon us. Existence. Awareness. Emotion. Pleasure. Pain. Life. Death. Beer.

        Mostly beer. :)
        • Oct 27 2011: "Just because mankind is incapable of grasping something so infinitely large and infinitely small at the same time, we struggle to define the force that allows our very awareness of being. " I totally agree, that's why I don't try too hard to name things I can't even begin to fathom, perhaps one day the human brain will evolve enough for someone to get it, but for right now, assigning whatever existence is, some kind of consciousness, in order to make sense of it in our primitive human way is just pointless. And really boring, I might add. I prefer the wonder to the fake 'know it all' answers.
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      Oct 24 2011: Can we just leave God out of it. It so brings a good conversation down. Makes it irrelevant/tired/uninteresting/crap/lies etc. Just leave the word out and we can all move on. we simply do not need it anymore! Stop with the god i say. Strike me down if you are liste..........................
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        Oct 24 2011: Very funny!!!!
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        Oct 26 2011: There are only three things worth talking about: Politics, Religion, and Sex.
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        Oct 27 2011: See #10 on my list (which is way down below somewhere). I don't have a problem with God or god or gods. I think talking about religion is fascinating. But, once the conversation devolves into a general cosmic debate, not much is going to get accomplished, and no one takes any responsibility his or her contributions or actions.
      • Oct 27 2011: LOL... Phillip didn't finish the "if you are liste... " because he was stricken!
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      Oct 25 2011: 3. No apology can unsay a hurtful thing. - truest thing in the world ! Someone to raise apology is just trying to amend his image, & no real apologies in the world make any sense.
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        Oct 26 2011: Apologies make sense if you made a mistake and recognize it. If you don't actually mean it, or are just trying to appease some social structure, then don't be dishonest.

        In the past, I've let my emotions affect my judgment and taken unjust actions toward others, and for that I'm truly sorry. But I can't change the past.

        Hurtful things are only hurtful if the 'victim' allows them to be hurtful. Therefore, you are only a victim if you allow yourself to be. Words can not harm anyone. However, violent actions can actually harm people.

        ---------------------------- end of original comment
        Apparently the machine will not let me reply to Phillip McKay's comment below, so I'll edit in my reply here. - Emotions may MOTIVATE your actions, and thus they are an indicator of what you truly value, but they are not values in themselves, and emotions are irrational. Irrationality doesn't matter in arbitrary decisions, like what color do I like today, or who will I fall in love with, but they do matter when you take actions. Words can be actions, and may even be intended to cause harm, like yelling "FIRE" in a crowed theater when there is no fire, but your feelings can only be hurt by words IF you put value in the speaker's opinion. The choice of what you value is up to you. You need not be lonely or unattached to be rational. Hearts break because we value the individuals we choose to love, and we are hurt by their rejection, not because they spoke to us. Perhaps the girl that told you she didn't love you did it because you beat her, or ignored her, or just had no love for yourself, her words didn't hurt, it was your realization that your self-image, or worldview, or opinion of her was mistaken, you were deceived, either by your self, or her, or the world, and when you realize that, your foundations are rocked to the core, What else have you gotten wrong? This is why truth matters. Your ideas are only as good as your model of the world.
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          Oct 27 2011: I used to think somewhat like you Michael. But your emotions are the value you place on things. without them you are dull indifferent and a flatliner. Remember that beautiful girl that told you she didnt love you. That hurt. Welcome to the real world. You're right - words dont hurt if you're not attached to the human raise and many achieve that lonely existence.
      • Oct 27 2011: Forgiveness is the first step to healing. First you must forgive yourself for being hurt, then you can fully forgive those who caused pain. Alternately, one cannot forgive one whom wishes not to be forgiven. And there, we have apology.
        • Oct 27 2011: No, one never has the right to forgive oneself. If one has hurt someone, that's a permanent burden which one has to carry.

          However, one can forgive other and I encourage that. With forgiveness comes a relief as a victim. Bring in friendship and let the one who hurts you feel easy around you and give him/her the chance to compensate of the wrong before.

          One can apology, the victim can refuse to accept.

          The best thing to do is to avoid hurting other in the first place.
    • Oct 27 2011: very critical points tnx
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    Oct 23 2011: I don't KNOW any of these items to be true, but choose to use them as beacons and guideposts.

    1) Thinking "out of the box" is over-rated. "Out of the box" means you have simply recognized that you're previous context or "box" was too limiting and that you have broken through many of the assumptions and constraints of that context. But you simply move into a broader and more general context or "box" now. So actually, a more accurate saying might be "are you thinking in the appropriate box?"

    2) Experience is inevitable, learning is not. Just going through an experience does not equal learning from the experience.

    3) Sometimes, we have to listen someone into existence.

    4) Play as if our lives depended on it. Because it does.

    5) Imagination is more important than knowledge, but one needs a solid foundation of knowledge to make the most of one's imaginative powers. So don't discount and dismiss the importance of knowledge.

    6) There is hard work as we know it in the USA and European countries. And then there is hard work as it is known in Chinese-speaking countries such as China, Taiwan, and Singapore. In Chinese language, the term for hard work is "Eat Bitter" which also has connotations of enduring, overcoming pain and misery. So not all hard work is the same around the world.

    7) Problem-solver are extremely valuable. But we might need problem-finders even more.

    8) We are all hybrids. Approximately 90% of the cells in our body are bacterial in nature, not human. Relax, there're friendly and vital to our health. But just think...90% of the number of cells in us are bacteria!

    9) We tend to forget about opportunity risks when considering something risky. There can be great risk in NOT pursuing a risky venture.

    10) Regret is the 8th Deadly Sin.
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      Oct 23 2011: Peter, I loved your statement that we have to listen people into existence. It is filled with so much compassion and awareness.
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        Oct 23 2011: Hi Debra,

        Thanks for your reply. Isn't it sad that so many people have this need and yet we don't listen enough to them? Our society seems to reward the proclamation of ideas so much more than listening and reflection. Just go to a typical kindergarten or grade school. Gold stars often go to those who speak up and contribute their ideas and opinions. But seldom is recognition given to active and compassionate and self-less listening.

        I grew up in Asia and recall my shock when I entered 3rd grade in the USA. Everyone was talking over each other and rewarded for being so darned self-expressive. But there was not much listening...often it was just waiting for a turn to speak or an opportunity to interrupt the previous speaker.

        Thank you for listening to me into existence.

        Best regards,

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          Oct 24 2011: Peter and Debra,

          I love this idea. To quote Sarah Kay, "I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others... knowing that while you're speaking, they aren't just waiting for their turn to talk-- they hear you." I know I still need to work on that: truly hearing everyone I listen to. "Listening them into existence" (what an incredible phrase. Thank you.) But I'll never stop trying, because every time I manage to really do it, I learn something amazing.

          I grew up going to a Quaker school. We had a weekly mandatory Meeting for Worship which every student, teacher, and administrator sat together in complete silence and periodically listened to short messages people were spontaneously inspired to share. I often learned more about myself and the world around me in that hour and a half than in any class; I wasn't talking, I was sitting in silence. I miss the structure for listening that the meetings offered, but I hope to apply the lessons learned there to the rest of my life.

          Thanks for listening,
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          Oct 24 2011: Not all at once.....of course, but I have to speak for two important reasons I can momentarily think of: speaking my mind so others can know what I am all about, and
          if nobody speaks there is nothing to listen to.
          In most cultured conversations one considerately awaits their turn while listening to others.
          Otherwise, how can one's comments be pertinent to the subject discussed? Ill mannered parliamentary debates should not discourage us from remaining civil.
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        Oct 24 2011: Wow. This truly is a beautiful and remarkably true statement.
    • Oct 23 2011: Peter
      I really liked #,s 3&4 There are a lot of people out there waiting for someone to listen to them. On a persoanl level, playing is becoming a sort of new found joy for me...and I am not young. Those things are really true.
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        Oct 23 2011: Hi Michael,

        Thanks for your reply. Like you, I am not young (chronologically, but youthful in outlook) and have found play to be "serious" priority for me.

        I think we need to re-learn and recapture the joy of play in our very busy and stressful lives.

        Have you read Free Play by Steve Nachmanovitch? It is a small eloquent tome to the spiritual and pragmatic value of play. Homo ludens "the playful human" is another meme to which I subscribe.

        Playfully yours,

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          Oct 23 2011: Someone posted this over on the "Favourite Quote" conversation:

          A child-like man is not a man whose development has been arrested; on the contrary, he is a man who has given himself a chance of continuing to develop long after most adults have muffled themselves in the cocoon of middle-aged habit and convention. – Aldous Huxley
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      Oct 23 2011: Listen someone into existence..... that is absolutely wonderful.
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      Oct 23 2011: Peter your number 6 and Cleo's number 9 have been integral in my development. When I was a child growing up in the United States, I had a powerful desire to travel and see the great and wonderful things in the world. My mind conjured images of beautiful architecture, delicious new foods, wondrous landscapes, and curious people.

      At the age of 25, I have spent over half my adult life outside of the United States. Exposure to cultures such as India, Cambodia, Afghanistan, and Vietnam have taught me incredible lessons about self pity, simple pleasures, and viewing the world in its entirety.
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        Oct 24 2011: Hi Tim,

        Happy to hear that you've benefited from your wide travels. What did you find most surprising during your travels? Any truths you found that apply across all the cultures you experienced?

        I'd like to travel widely as well and learn as you did. What brought you to Afghanistan in your young life?

        Best regards, Peter
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          Oct 24 2011: Peter I served the first few years of my adult life as a special operator with the United States Army, an experience which catapulted me into an understanding of myself as a world citizen.
          Of course there have been many
          surprises during my travels, but the one that has had the biggest impact on me would be the realization of China as a superpower, witnessed firsthand. It is one thing to watch the news and read the Economist, but something else entirely to visit a place like Hong Kong and marvel at its efficiency.
          According to the Motley Fool, the US economy as yet remains three times the size of China's, but that ratio only further demonstrates where one is to find opportunity and growth. I see a new world developing, one in which global influence is shared by more major players on nearly equal footing than the disparity witnessed in the last 30 years. This surprise has lead to a reevaluation of my goals, which now involve studies in the mandarin language, chinese history, and philosophy.

          In regards to universal truths, I have found that the giving spirit is ingrained in all of humanity, though the mechanism is dramatically different from place to place. In powerful western economies, we like to use an intermediary. Charities, food banks, and homeless shelters are common for this purpose. In less abundant economies, food is often handed to the needy, and small villages take a communal approach to their problems. Neighbors help one another fix leaking roofs, and orphans are often supported by the many.

          Peter where in Asia did you grow up? You discussed your surprise with the classroom after entering third grade in the United States. Do you believe that multicultural exposure for children is an advantage?
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        Oct 24 2011: Hi Tim,

        I could not contact you via TED email (it's not working) so I am contacting you this way.

        "This surprise has lead to a reevaluation of my goals, which now involve studies in the mandarin language, chinese history, and philosophy." Wow, you really are proactive! Kudos for seeking trends and patterns and acting upon them. Your wide travels has benefited you immensely.

        Yes, I believe multi-cultural experiences are a MUST for any young person on this planet, esp. for an ethno-centric and super power country such as the USA. "Fish are the last to discover water" goes the adage. So a mudskipper who transitions between water and soil understands so much more about water by virtue of having left its boundaries.

        I grew up in Taiwan, then Japan prior to landing in the USA as a youth. I identify myself with both the American and Chinese cultures.

        Tim, You write extremely well which reflects a cultivated mind. Why don't you start a TED Conversation? You have a great deal to offer the TED community.

        Keep in touch. See you in one of the other TED conversations too!

        Best regards,

        Peter Han
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      Oct 24 2011: I think we do learn thorugh experiences particularly when we are young. Problem is sometimes what we learn does bnot help us in life. I know young people who have learned to push people away in order to protect themselves. Obviously this is not always a useful action. Somtimes however, it is.
      Sometimes it is just as important to unlearn.
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    Oct 23 2011: My ten things that I know to be true

    1) Love is better than hate.
    2) Love feels better too.
    3) Hating hurts you as much or more than it hurts the one you hate.
    4) Hope is always a good thing.
    5) Life will out. Just look at that blade of grass coming up through the crack in the pavement.
    6)There are a lot of really truly good people in this world. We should encourage them.
    7)We all have blind spots about ourselves.
    8)Differences are not to be feared for they are the source of our greatest strengths as societies and as individuals.
    9)Just because people live in big bodies does not mean that they are grown up inside.
    10) Singing, dancing and art are better uses of human talent than war.
    • Oct 23 2011: All good observations. I especially like number 8.
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        Oct 30 2011: I enjoy conversations about "Differences". I focus on learning to be comfortable with differences, and that I can make a difference by doing this.
        One of my favorite catch phrases is "The Difference that Makes a Difference!"
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      Oct 23 2011: I especially like #7. It makes me wonder what mine is!
      • Oct 23 2011: Indeed. I've always sought to find mine, but then how long does one look and question? Would we ever discover them all?
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          Oct 28 2011: Hi Paula, I do not really think it is a matter of actually looking for our blind spot. Rather, I think we just need to be aware when the evidence of feedback indicate that we might have a blind spot. When people see things that we do not we need to consider that we have something to learn. At least this is how I try to stay aware of the possibilities.
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        Nov 4 2011: the past months I have been exploring the 5 elements (earth, metal, water, wood, fire) and my experience is it is for quite some people easy to understand what their blind element(s) is/are

        metal = structure, managing, tradition
        wood = coaching, growth, direction
        earth = self realisation, materialisation
        water = life-force, vitality, rest
        fire = communication, transformation, relations (man - woman)

        gave me much insight to sdiscover my blind spot was metal (and fire) and I began to understand my whole life and that of my surroundings ;)

        perhaps this is usefull to someone here
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          Nov 4 2011: That's an interesting approach, Steven. I like the use of metaphor to think in new ways. It takes us out of the rut in our habitual thinking processes even if we do not attach it to religious thought or ideologies.
    • Oct 29 2011: Love and hate are part of the same human emotional state, that of being passionate, between which can be a very thin often blurry line and since one can not exist without its companion to say that one is more important than the other lends itself to a narrowing of perception. All human emotions have a place and time. I would say that outrage one may feel at the presence of inequality and cruelty come from a place of love but will move an individual to action and help to shape the world. Less the rational be willing to act the strong will always prevail regardless of their motives or politics no matter how irrational, selfdestructive, or short sighted they may be.
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        Oct 31 2011: Hi Skylar! While I love it when you play devil's advocate, I cannot agree that love and hate are the same emotional state not even polar opposites. There is not much psychological literature to support that contention either. Additionally, outrage and shock which leads to action does not necessarily stem from hate and is often not nearly as effective when it does stem from hate. Hate is often associated with fear and threat. Love comes from an entirely different place. I am quite convinced that humanity could live pretty nicely without hate. Hate is in itself self destructive. I once read that hating is like drinking poison and expecting the hated person to die. The poison of hate only hurts the one who partakes.
        • Nov 1 2011: I did in fact over simplify the truth a little and thank you for calling me on it. More to the point I wasn't really disagreeing with you entirely just trying to recognize that horrific things are sometimes done in the name of love (of which there are many different kinds and I wish that we had more than one word for it in the English language). Sometimes actions motivated by hate can bring about positive change. While I to am an advocate for love and empathy I still understand that every tool has it's pros and cons even love. Hate while usually a more destructive force has it's place as well. It is my hope that one day hate and violence (which aren't always mutually inclusive) will become obsolete and loose their necessity, but recognize we have a long way to go before we are there. Until that day whatever may motivate an individual to propel us closer to this new world is what is needed and I believe hate plays a role. I myself while not a fan still see a need for many unpleasant and harmful aspects of not only human behavior but the actions of the universe. Significant change rarely comes quietly and never without a cost. My love for my fellow man often times paralyzes me and while I don't want to be the one to swing the axe or condone the actions of the one who does I can't help but wish that I could fashion my love into a tool as sharp and wieldable. Hopefully one day I will... Thank you for being you and best of luck in your journey.
  • Oct 25 2011: 1.That I love and am loved.
    2.That life is precious and worth living.
    3.The best things that ever happened to me are the birth of my children.
    4.That I know very little and can learn something new, everyday.
    5.If I had my life to live over again, I would change nothing.
    6.Being happy is a choice. It has nothing to do with what you own and another person is not responsible for your happiness, only you are...
    7.The saying "If at first you don't succeed, try again" is not just a saying.....
    8.Laughing is really good for the soul and should be done daily and several times each day.
    9.The best gift is the gift of time.
    10. Last but certainly not least, God is real, he is love and he is good.
    • Oct 25 2011: Amazingly said!
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      Oct 26 2011: I like these, they are true only from your perspective yet could be universal too.
      God is only real in the minds of men as a concept and the actions such men take.
      People can't take your happiness, but they can take your food.
    • Oct 27 2011: re: 10

      I do not know which god you believe in. The bible god that I knew has not learnt to forgive. It takes a life to wash away the "sin" which was the first human eating a fruit. By allowing suffering to occur to new born child, it is not loving and it is not good.
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        Oct 27 2011: I'm an atheist, so I don't believe in supernatural beings, but that doesn't mean that concepts (abstract patterns) in the minds and brains of men aren't 'real' or don't have effects upon their actions, which effect the world.

        If you speak of the god of the Jews, I think the Christians believe he sent a profit to die for human sins, and cleared that whole thing up.

        The problem of Theodicy, the problem of evil in the world, is fundamental to most religions, but I was given a reasonable explanation by the book of JOB. The conclusion they come to is that a God, if such exists, is beyond our simple understanding of suffering or justice, that it need not answer our questions, but we must accept the world as it comes. Naturally.

        That makes sense to me, I can accept the suffering imposed by the natural environment, but what I can't accept is the suffering imposed by society, cultures of abuse, and social injustice. However, I don't think that such is imposed by any real 'God', just by the kind of concept or irrational beliefs that cause action, as I described. They make us do unethical things, like take people's food.
        • Oct 27 2011: Obviously, we are off the tangent here, but let's just indulge ourselves a little.

          The issue of suffering and justice are human values. How we judge whether a situation is a suffering or whether something is just based on our values and emotions. Saying that we are too simple to understanding god's will is simply brushing the problem under the carpet. As social animals and with the "mirror neurons" in our brain, we can feel (in the shoes of the other) how other is feeling. That's where suffering comes in. We can feel and see suffering from the expression of the person. Young child, starved to dead by simply being born at the wrong place at the wrong time - to an atheist - is just part of chance. For the theists, they have a big problem to simultaneously claim their god to be good, loving and just. For a loving god with all the power it has and yet allows suffering to occur, by any argument no one could call it a loving god. For allowing this randomness of luck to occur, again if god has all the power to prevent and yet does not do so, is unjust.

          Can we judge god? Sure we can, just like we can judge other and show our approval or rejection.

          God is a concept and most people really do not have a good definition of it. As seen in this thread, there are many equating nature as god. To them, I ask why don't we just say nature. Obviously, there are more than just nature when theists use the word god. I am yet to see anyone clearly articulate his/her version of god. I can only refer to god in the bible - the Jew's god as a representation of god.
      • Oct 27 2011: Mmmm, my # 10 said God is real . To me it has nothing to do with religion whatsoever.
        • Oct 27 2011: Really?
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          Oct 27 2011: What DOES religion have to do with?
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          Oct 27 2011: Well said Carol.
          I love TEDsters, everything always gravitates towards religion. Then God gets the blame. God is real; it's so obvious; but many can't see past the religion.

          God Bless

      • Oct 27 2011: Albert, to answer you question, I believe in the one true God. I don't ask anyone else to believe.
        • Oct 27 2011: Carol, I am so sorry for you. Whatever education you may have, you have demonstrated that you failed to use your logical rational mind to see the delusion of the myth of "one true god".

          I am not asking anyone to believe there is a god or there is no god. That's not the point.

          I am asking everyone to make decisions based on evidence, not wishful thinking nor voodoo.

          Humanity is at a cross road right now. My grand child, if I have one, may be the last generation of human unless we, humanity at a whole, recognize the damage this generation has made to the planet and quickly rectify the wrongs. The atmosphere has CO2 level leading to a minimum of 2 deg rise in average global temperature - and we are still accelerating the rate of dumping CO2 into the atmosphere! I am afraid a 4 deg rise in average global temperature is inevitable and that would trigger unstoppable positive warming effect. A mass extinction is around the corner.
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        Oct 27 2011: Albert,The question posed for this conversation was, "What 10 things do YOU know to be true." Carol has expressed her 10 things. Perhaps instead of trying to dissect someone's belief with your "big brain" and "logic" you could have simply listed your 10 things YOU know to be true. Frans K. sums it up perfectly below, "Your words sound logic in general.
        Yet it is as with that elephant. We can both look on the beast from our own fixed positions and agree that it's an elephant yet seeing different things."

        If you want to batter everyone over the head with your gavel, do it in the DEBATE section please. Carol has chosen to share what she knows to be true for herself. She has not beat anyone over the head with her beliefs, let alone ask to consider her views as your own. I find it blatantly disrespectful to target in on someone and tell them what they know to be true wrong just because you feel it is. CLEARLY this question is a subjective matter.

        Thankfully Carol has also chosen not to dignify your replies and insults ("Whatever education you may have, you have demonstrated that you failed to use your logical rational mind to see the delusion of the myth of "one true god").

        Think about re-directing your thoughts in a more appopriate forum.

        That is all I have to say.
        • Oct 27 2011: Nicely said Louise and very to the point of this discussion.
        • Oct 27 2011: Louise,

          Please read the opening statement again. It said, "We can learn by exchanging and discussing our own lists".

          What I have done is in the spirit of discussion.

          As for my list, I don't have one. Life experience cannot be listed as 10 "truths". I am yet to see any evidence that there is any "truth" in all the lists. Yes, many posters have put up insightful viewpoints and I am learning and taking notes. However, delusion are plentiful too.

          The fact that Carol's list has 6 "thumb ups" so far reflects either the feeling that she was a victim of my dissection or that delusion is widespread. So far I have only focused on the last one the list. Here is my full dissection.

          re: 1

          Carol is lucky to be born in the right place at the right place. Not everyone has loved and has been loved. About 30,000 children died of starvation everyday. Are these children loved?

          re: 2

          We have valued our own life too much. Life in fact is cheap. See how political leaders are willing to send other people's children into war, but not their own. Letting 30,000 children die of hunger everyday also illustrates how cheap life is. By placing our own life too high, we lost our compassion to our fellow human being.

          re: 3

          Yes, our biological need is to reproduce. But are we too successful as we shall have the 7 billionth child by the end of this month? My wife and I together have one child. That's more than enough.

          re: 4 - totally agree.

          re: 5

          I suggest if there is another chance of rebirth, try being born at the wrong time at the wrong place. You won't feel so lucky.

          re; 6, 7 and 8 - agree. Laughing is also good for the physical health too. Laughing loudly helps in oxygenation.

          re: 9

          I agree life is short. Human existence is only about 100,000 to 200,000 years out of 4.5 billion years of Earth's existence. While we are here, try not to damage the environment too much and leave a better place for the future.


          I have said too much already.
    • Oct 27 2011: Carol, I love your list!!! Although it is different than mine, I would have had about the same list too, so basically your and mine would be my Top 20!
    • Oct 27 2011: Carol
      I like your list a lot. Thank you.
      • Oct 27 2011: THanks Micheal!
  • Oct 24 2011: 1. Sit in stillness. Stop moving, stop doing, stop planning and living in the future. You can sit on a cushion or sit in a chair.

    2. Go outside and feel the wind on your face, smell the fresh air, and connect with nature. If it’s possible, lie in the grass, stare at the sky, and listen to the birds. Feel your heart open.

    3. Connect with another person, smile, and make eye contact. If you observe yourself becoming judgmental or critical, try to see that person as another human being struggling to be happy, just like you.

    4. If you have pets, connect with them through touch. Feel their affection. We can communicate with them and learn from them about how to stay in the moment.

    5. Tune in to your body, let it move, and feed it well. Practice awareness of your senses. Feel what you are touching, listen to the sounds around you, and smell what’s cooking.

    6. Breathe deeply. Count your breaths to 21 when you are driving in your car. Calm down and stay present. Repeat.

    7. Write, draw, paint, journal, or listen to music. Creating something beautiful or meaningful will help you focus and allow flow.

    8. Take pictures with your phone or camera. I have learned that if I see a shot and run for the camera that frequently the moment will have disappeared. Sometimes I am lucky enough to capture a magical moment in time.

    9. Give love to yourself and others. As you become aware of the negative self-talk in your mind, you can work towards becoming gentle with yourself. Practicing loving-kindness towards others will help you turn the love inward as well. Treat your family and friends with care and tenderness. Be considerate of their needs and listen closely to what they have to say.

    10. Accept things the way they are. It will give you a sense of freedom. Resistance causes suffering.

    Refrain from zombie behavior: Please stop to think, reflect. Don't let your phone decide who you should marry or worse... marry your phone? Love people and use things, not the other way around!
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      Oct 24 2011: I really appreciate the way your shared your truths. You come across as very conscious of experiencing and practicing in the present moment. I have been preoccupied with the thought that, yes, I have truths but my life is about how I practice these truths. To me this means how I express these truths in what I think, say and do. I believe that experience is crucial and there are practices/ways to enhance, calibrate and appreciate these experiences.PLAY is an important element of my practices.
      • Oct 24 2011: Thanks, I am trying to learn how to breath right by doing what Osho recommends. Starting with breath, if we only pay attention and introduce intent in every moment. I feel my main job here is to create my life intentionally. When I really focus in I find that things taste better, feelings more intense and enjoyable, things are more vibrant looking, we control our experience just by thinking about what we want instead of what we don't! Yes its all about PLAY.
        "Where are you? Here.
        What time is it? Now.
        What are you? This moment"
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          Oct 25 2011: I appreciate both of you.
          You are both already "practicing" your thoughts when you are writing it down !
          And to me ,
          you trigger me to think:
          Everyone has his/her set of language , to convey the "basic life belief"
          BELIEF ,is not a belief.
          that's why we cannot accept another people's belief in their language.
          (where i mean language , is not meaning languages among different countries)
        • Oct 27 2011: Choi Kwan,

          BELIEF is unsupported acceptance of something. One can have belief, but one should not communicate one's belief to strangers. Most of the time, such an action would be laughed at - and should be laughed at.

          If you like Osho, try Laozi (and read Tao De Ching,道德經) instead. At least the principles within 道德經 has been put in use for over 2000 years.
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      Oct 26 2011: these aren't truths, their commands
      • Oct 26 2011: I agree, I have shared the truths earlier... here they are for you:
        1. Listen to your body's wisdom.
        2. Live in the present, for it is the only moment you have.
        3. Take time to be silent, to meditate - It is the methodology of awareness. By living in the moment, you are already practicing active meditation thereby relinquishing the need for external approval, that we earthlings crave.
        4. Relinquish your need for external approval - happens automatically
        5. When you find yourself reacting with anger or opposition to any person or circumstance, realize that you are only struggling with yourself. it is a defense mechanism and you are defending your ego and a response to old hurts. By not reacting with anger, you will start healing yourself and cooperating with the flow of energy.
        6. Know that the world "out there" reflects your reality "in here"
        7. Shed the burden of judgement.
        8. Don't contaminate your body with toxins, either food, drink, or toxic emotions.
        9. Replace 'fear'-motivated behavior with 'love'-motivated behavior.
        10. Understand that the physical world is just a mirror of a deeper intelligence
        • Oct 27 2011: re:1

          One's body does not have wisdom. it is a collection of molecules interchanging with the environment. However as a collection, it is also a living organism. Life is about eating and be eaten. Once this fundamental basic need has been met, we can start learning and accumulating experience. If you are old enough, that accumulated experience may be called by some as "wisdom".


          I disagree. We should live for the future. Humanity is facing a huge ecological problem because TOO MANY of us were just concerned with living at the present and over utilized the capacity of mother Earth.

          re: 3

          Meditation can relax and that's all it can do. The Deepak likes to apply Quantum theory into his voodoo theory of cosmic conscienceness - which is just as evidenceless as the existence of god.


          We are social animal. Our deeds are judged by our peers and we cannot escape being judged. It is important to live in a way that you will not feel sorry in the future - live fair and square and as morally as the circumstance allows.

          re: 5

          I was a teacher. I can't help explaining my viewpoint. Reacting with anger is related one's own understanding and control. Learn to react calmly to *everything*. If someone has made a statement which you don't agree, if circumstance permits, say your objection with calm and reason. If both cannot agree, agree to disagree.

          re; 6 - another Deepak rubbish

          re: 7 - See my comment on 4 above.

          re: 8 and 9 - I agree.

          re: 10 - another Deepak crap.
    • Oct 27 2011: I feel you, especially #9. Never enough Love.
      • Oct 28 2011: Dear Michael E. Russell,
        Thank you for taking the time to read and reflect on the truths.

        1. What is meant by wisdom of the body?
        Our minds don't like to acknowledge that our bodies have a wisdom of their own. Whether we shudder at the idea of telepathy or praise the idea of transparency, we call it by various names like intuition, others call it ESP. It doesn't matter what we call it.

        Thats why we should trust a gut feeling, because it is actually a physical response to your subconscious mind weighing up all known factors and then making a decision. “Malcolm Gladwell”:http://gladwell.typepad.com/gladwellcom/ in his book “Blink”:http://www.malcolmgladwell.com/blink/index.html discusses how using thin slicing and gut feeling you can make just as good a decision, if not better than consciously seeking all relevant information.
        Each and every cell of our body has a consciousness, and that explains why we get addicted. Unlike your screen, we're not just a bunch of molecules :)

        2. Living in the moment does not mean taking more than you need, the universe has enough to fulfill all we need not all our greed. By living in the moment, I meant, centering your awareness on on the here and now (savoring). You are not worrying about the future or thinking about the past. The past and future are illusions, they don’t exist so if are to truly experience life, we need to be present intentionally to actually live.

        The worst part about living in the past or the future is that you’re giving up your personal power. If you’re not living now, you’re giving up your life. You’re surrendering your power to create. If there are changes you’d like to make in life, it’s best to do it now. If you’re living in the past, you can’t do anything about it, it’s gone. If you’re worrying about the future, you’re living somewhere that doesn’t exist. It hasn’t happened yet. If you want to change your life, the only place you can do it is in the present. But first you need to accept life as it is
        • Oct 28 2011: Vivek,

          "Wisdom of the body" - I think we are into semantics here. At what level do we call something "responsive", "thinking", then "wisdom"? I acknowledge that some of our organs, say the heart, can beat by itself without guidance from our brain. Is that wisdom? Can we call our body having wisdom, or should we call our collective (body and brain together) as capable of having wisdom? Can our body think? Is the thinking done at the brain or at parts-level?

          If you have said we should listen to our intuition, instead using "wisdom of the body", I would have understood a little better, don't you think? Is there any difference between intuition and "wisdom of the body"?

          Should we listen solely on our intuition? Yes, our intuition - built via all the past life experience - can be a good guide for making most daily decisions. At certain level, it is totally inadequate because there is just no equivalent previous experience for the task at hand. The huge progress afforded by science in the past 200 to 300 years is the result of painstakingly removing personal bias, observational bias and application of strict logic deduction. Intuitively, we know that to put out a fire, we can put water onto the fire. However, if this intuition is applied to fire caused by burning oil, pouring water over the boiling oil will result in explosion and making the situation much worse. Intuition is useful only up to a certain point and we should not take it as all time truth.

          I agree, living in the moment does not imply living beyond our means. What has happened in the last 150 years is that a small fraction of the world's population is consuming disproportionate amount of world's resources and dumping a large amount of green house gas into the atmosphere which every human being share. It would be a hard thing to link the mentality of living at the moment with such irresponsible deeds. ...

          - to be cont'd
        • Oct 28 2011: Living in the moment once a while is good, but a mentality of ignoring the future, over-indulge of the moment's satisfaction, never learn from the past and never consider the future consequences are not good guidelines for proper living. Don't we want to leave a better place for our children and grand children?

          I cannot agree that living with an eye into future is giving up one's power. There are choices to make and there are consequences with the choices. Ignoring any consequences and blindly pick choices which satisfy a moment's sense of power is hardly a good recommendation. Yes, there is a lot of chances and unexpected events in the future, because of these, we do not plan for future? Is that a guideline for living?

          Can we live in the past? No, we cannot. We have already lived the past and there were past actions which affect current choices and there are past burdens which we need to carry onwards until the day we die. Past is the foundation of intuition which you treasure so much. Without the past experience, you would not have the intuition. Time is a one way street, you can look back, but you cannot go back. You can only move forward, at the pace determined by time, you cannot jump forward too.
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    Oct 23 2011: 1. The only constant is change.
    2. What you see in the world is dependent on how you feel.
    3. Afflictive emotions beget afflictive results.
    4. You only get what you put into something and always expect more.
    5. Intentions good or bad are irrelevant to actions.
    6. Belief and Faith are founded in ignorance
    7. Definites cannot work in the infinite. The concept of dualism is false.
    8. Given enough time any individual can surprise you.
    9. The past and future are illusions of what may be the present is where we are.
    10. I am wrong and strive to learn more.
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      Oct 23 2011: I really liked your 4,5,6, & 7. ...but especially 6.

      I would say it this way:
      6 Faith and belief are both founded in superstition that is founded in ignorance and fear.
      • Oct 25 2011: Hey, if it's okay to add, I would like to.
        I'm guessing you are referring to religious belief and faith but I'd like to put in
        a little twist of mine, if you don't mind.

        When we build a bridge, we build it using sound building theory, what has been done,
        tested and proven, but when we cross it, we cross it in faith, that it will not fall. If we don't respect the Law of Gravity, that which we cannot touch or see, then we will suffer the wrath of the Law, not the wrath of the Lord.
        I don't believe in God and I am not an atheist.
        I call myself a "faitheist" because I believe in what I know.
        But, what I know, will also change because of that which I do not know, until I do know.

        Can't seem to get away from either. To actually not believe in anything is foolish.
        Not saying this is who or what you are, by the way.
        But, faith becomes blind if it isn't grounded in what one knows. To me blind faith is then akin to believing in the manner those who call people "atheists", think they believe in. That is what they know. So if one believes in god then one must believe in the same thing a so-called atheist believes in: What they know, what's been proven.

        I think hope is the most believed in concept in the world and hope, by definition is false.
        Even if one does not agree with the definition or found one that supported their belief in it, the
        act of hoping itself is proof that one doesn't know. That is why they hope.

        I have asked so many, "do you think there is a god?" The most common answer I have gotten:
        "Well, I hope so!" So, I'm guessing they really don't. They only have a blind faith. It's really hard making ones way around if they are blind. If Jesus existed and healed, then perhaps that is the blindness he healed. The inner blindness of believing in things that are false.

        I do believe in Zeus. In fact, a friend walked over while we were talking. He said, "who's that?
        "Oh, that's my friend," so I called to him, "Hey Zeus, c'mere." My friend thought I said Jesus.
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          Oct 25 2011: I know how you feel.
          For one. They say god is everything and god is eternal. But if god is everything and god is one then god much ultimately be alone.
          If god is eternal then god is without purpose. Purpose by definition implies a conclusion. An ending. How can infinity have purpose.

          So why go on? Why did Van Gogh paint? He saw no purpose yet he never stopped. A painter doesn't paint because he wants to finish. He paints because he can create. Creation is the only true face of god. It is endlessly without purpose yet infinitely beautiful.

          So god as well as life comes down to a choice. Choose to be happy and create beauty or sulk and rot into nothingness. These are the only 2 choices. Endure and create a meaning or don't. The text is very true here. We truly are created in gods image... or is it the other way around?
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          Oct 25 2011: Well I am speaking from a literal sense.
          1 Hope;the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best: to give up hope.
          2 Faith;belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
          3 Ignorance; the state or fact of being ignorant; lack of knowledge, learning, information, etc.

          Where i see the misconception is the human ability to infer I mean nothing beyond my statement. Also i cross a bridge knowing the structure and the materials and of the law of gravity. I seek to know and understand including within myself. I look into my self with the same approach. I ask what do i know of myself? What do i not know? Within what i see as the "laws cause and effect." So I do not believe in anything. I understand or do not. I have no Faith in that I would not cross a bridge without knowing what it is.

          I will tell a short story.
          Growing up in Orlando, Fl i ran with a "rough" crowd and one day at a house party the topic of faith came up and a guy pulled a revolver out removed all but one round spun and said "I have faith." Needless to say he is in a wheelchair and is missing 30% of his jaw. Hypothetically If i where to do the same thing i would look in the chamber before pulling the trigger. Knowing it would not fire.

          Also for myself I do not have Faith in God or believe in God. I seek to experience God.
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      Oct 23 2011: Belief an faith are founded in ignorance... what a tricky thing to say... What a wonderful truth is hidden in there...
    • Oct 23 2011: Love the reality of #1. My #11 truth would be all change is good change.
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      Oct 23 2011: Colton I have a feeling you're interested in physics. If you haven't read it already, I recommend taking a look at Brian Greene's "Elegant Universe."
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        Oct 23 2011: I am a quarter way through it. I just keep picking up to many books i am reading three right now including "Elegant Universe."
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      Oct 23 2011: 5. Intentions good or bad are irrelevant to actions.

      Intention directs and informs volitional action (behaviour.)

      5. Intentions good or bad are irrelevant to outcomes (consequences) of action.
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      Oct 25 2011: Belief an faith are founded in ignorance is only half true. It is also found in hope.
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      Oct 26 2011: What you see in the world is what it is, how you react to it is dependent upon how you feel.
      I've run 30 miles and felt good, but there were still blisters on my feet.
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    Oct 22 2011: 1. Truth exists.
    2. An idea is worth a dollar, a strategy is worth millions.
    3. The universe is governed by Truth. We can discover as much as we have time to explore.
    4. Biographies are written about those who have overcome their limitations, critics, and imposed restraints.
    5. Wisdom is learned either through pain or by mentors. I suggest mentors.
    6. Foolishness is repeating the action which caused pain.
    7. The Earth's currency is Seed - Time - Harvest. This one principle defeats fatalism.
    8. Your world is only as big as the trails that you run.
    9. Never underestimate the destructive power of simple-minded men.
    10. Man rarely lives up to the dignity of his potential.
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      Oct 23 2011: 2 is a lesson wish I'd learned a while ago.
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        Oct 23 2011: I learned this the hard way. I had an idea for a book which I didn't write, someone else did and sold 5 million copies.
    • Oct 23 2011: re:3

      Biographies tell one side of a story - the darker side is usually missing. :-)
  • Nov 2 2011: 1. The more I'm convinced that I'm right and someone else is wrong, the harder I should look at the problem.
    2. Money is a crummy measure of anything.
    3. People don't fundamentally change, but my understanding of them does.
    4. "Right" is not the same as "better."
    5. Stuff you made is more satisfying to use than stuff you bought.
    6. When people say "no," it's usually out of fear.
    7. You can have anything you want, as long as you're willing to work hard enough and sacrifice enough for it.
    8. Sacrificing your values, your morals and your family for something like money makes me want it a lot less.
    9. My parents did the best they could with the resources they had, and they always loved me.
    10. The worst-case scenario almost never happens.
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      Nov 3 2011: Hi Lise, I liked a lot 5 & 8. thanks.
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      Nov 3 2011: #1: yes!
      #3: yes!
      #4: yes!
      #6: i'm not so sure...
      #7: I don't agree: it doesn't always depend only on us what we want
      #10: it happens!
      • Nov 3 2011: Giusi,
        Thanks for your reply!
        And while I know that worst-case scenarios do happen sometimes, they usually don't. My thought is that too many people don't do things because they're afraid - they come up with the worst possible outcome and use it as an excuse not to act. Like "If I ask this pretty girl out on a date, she may become so insulted that she stabs me in the eye with a pencil and I'm blinded and lose my job and die of starvation." Sure, that's in the realm of physical possibility, but it's so unlikely that it's silly not to ask her!
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          Nov 4 2011: Hi Lise. Yes, you are right that there are people who do not act because they are not so 'brave' to face reality/situations because they consider the possible scenarios and the only ones they see is the worst one...(I met some people thinking like that) but it is also true that some other times our instinct tells us the worst scenario and it comes true!
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          Nov 4 2011: Hey Lise,
          Nice thoughts,Bt i too Agree With GIUSI somewhat ,You are although right cause of the selection of words.
          Point6:When people say "no," it's usually out of fear. (usually very rihtly used .. :))
          Might be true for yes.When people say "YES," it's usually out of fear.
          90% of the times I don't think it would be fear for which I say "NO". I normally say "YES" because of fear of hurting someone and "NO" only if I am sure I cannot afford it or otherwise.I feel PPL find it difficult to say "NO" mostly of the fear of hurting someone.Somewhat opposite to what you have said.But yes you are right in your own way.

          Point 10 : I actualy do belive in worst case scenarios and preparing for it. But yes after reading your reply I kind of get it what you wanted to tell.It was more of like "People are reluctant or back out to do something because of the fear of the worse" which generally happens.

          5th and 8th are really good points.
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      Nov 4 2011: dear Lisa,

      I agree on 1,5,8,9
      10 does occur, I experienced myself at home.
      6: can a 'no' not be out of experience or wisdom? that's my experience

      sharing life is multiplying life...

      • Nov 4 2011: Thanks!

        I find it interesting that a several people disagree with both 6 & 10, but I'm realizing that right now, they are both related to my own experience. I have a daughter and I'm going through a tough custody argument with my ex-husband. I've been in negotiation situations like this before, and when two people are negotiating over something as emotionally-charged as a child, people let fear rule their thinking processes. If I say to my ex "can you give in on this point," he automatically says "no" because he's afraid that conceding a point is the same as giving up rights to his daughter.

        The same principle works, though, with any emotionally-charged subject. Look at the Occupy Wall Street movement. The bankers who have been manipulating the system since banking deregulation went into effect are automatically shouting "no" every time someone in power so much as whispers that perhaps more banking regulations would be a good thing.
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          Nov 4 2011: I agree on your point of argument: emotional - charged 'no' is very often (always?) out of fear.
          The 'no' I meant is without emotional charging, people saying 'no' in pure calmness, often act out of wisdom and don't fear to loose anything with that 'no'. The 'no' is just an expression of their inner wisdom.
          Wish you wisdom and the right words in your ex-negotiation
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    Oct 28 2011: 1. I know I do not know a lot
    2. (Existentially) I know we do not know a lot.
    3. There is no self without relations
    4. Humans perform patternicity too well.
    5. Beauty does not necessarily mean "good."
    6. Everything truly is interconnected
    7. You learn from death far more than life.
    8. You will learn more in life than death.
    9. If there is one greater being or creator, we have to be concerned about ourselves (others) first, because praying for things to change and not trying to change them is stupid.
    9.a. "Be the change that you want to see in the world - dictating your want is not changing anything."
    10. Attachments make us human beings (emotional robots), especially if we are only attached to ourselves.
    • Oct 28 2011: Nicholas
      I really like #3. We need others.

      6 is also true, go see my list down below somewhere! I believe the same thing.
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        Oct 28 2011: We don't "need" others per-say, we use them, and after enough usage reliance is created to make the delusion of "need."
        • Oct 31 2011: Nah, I don't think so. There is always a need, not just use for people. They are not objects, but real live relationships.
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          Nov 6 2011: The worst punishment even for socipaths is solitary confinement. We all need others or we would all go insane.
        • Nov 10 2011: Solitary confinement takes away your connection to everything. When you say we need others do you mean people? I'm with Nicholas. I think we just use. Not to say that we are consciously all using each other because that would be a bit sick. I think there are people that function fine alone out in the wilderness. It is assumed that they are crazy when they interact with us because they are not indoctrinated into our way of thinking.
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          Nov 18 2011: People take for granted the discovery that a loved one has cancer or some other terrible illness and they remain true to them.

          However, there is nothing like being betrayed by someone you love. That's when you discover that you are not using them. That you cannot turn your back on them. That their betrayal came from psychological immaturity, which is merely another kind of illness. That's when you discover how helpless you are. That is, IF they know empathy. If they don't, perhaps you can let go of them.

          Use someone you love? It can't happen, I think.
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          Nov 20 2011: WOW!

          If you really live in a world where you really believe that all relationships are about 'using' others it really illuminates many of your opinions on other TED questions for me. I suggest you look at the 'Hare Checklist of Psychopathy' and take a measurement.

          @Phillip Beaver. An interesting fact revealed by studies is that women tend to stay with and care for their loved ones when they get cancer and that many men cannot face it and leave. I have lived this but I am impressed and touched when love surmounts such things. I am heartened by your absolute conviction which is evident in your final statement above. 'Use someone you love? It can't happen, I think". I agree but maybe we need to add the word "truly" before love.
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        Oct 31 2011: Just people you consciously dictate they are not objects does not mean your mind treats them anymore than that.

        Edited: Debra,

        Obviously you didn't continue to read down the conversation and made an abrupt assumption based off on terminology and not overall argument. "There is no self without relations" you can't have an identity without the environments you take from, copy from and/or use from throughout your life.

        It's really obvious you didn't read my last comment on this thread of comments. Which is surprising from you, seeing as you enjoy being so wholesome, you would investigate more prior to making such a conclusion.

        But to address this proposal of yours; pure psychopathy is rare, but everyone has some of the traits on that list, depending on how sever is individualistic. Animals need to be selfish, manipulative, tricky and/or enraged to survive. Studies in the "Big 5 Personality Traits" prove that animals have similar natural behaviors as we do, but at lower degrees. Which makes the debate of "nature vs. nurture" require different principles than the debate traditionally has going for it, because if we think we are working/thinking outside of nature, that is when we are deluded in reality and will make error. My point being, if you can't see how you use others, you probably can't see how they use you either.
        • Oct 31 2011: I have to disagree with that. Relationship changes me and opens me up to people as humans, not as objects.
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        Oct 31 2011: Again, conscious perception not in alignment with our biological mechanisms.
        • Nov 1 2011: Biology is not everything. DNA makes me but does not determine me. Physical needs and wants are part of my life, but they do not determine who you are as a person, nor who I am. The whole being is much greater than the sum of its parts.
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        Nov 1 2011: Holism indeed is the best way to look at the human spirit, but today more than ever we can see that if "this" is affected "that" is effected.

        In fact when you are in love it is now recorded to drive down fear, social accessibility and overall critical thinking. So this connection you are conscious of is doing things you are unconscious of, creating the delusion you are in control. No, your body's natural instincts to want "love" make you seek it, which isn't bad, but you "want" it far more than you "need" it.

        You "need" food, shelter, warmth and nutrition to survive. The rest is extra and usually corrupts natural thinking. Yes, family can easily corrupt generational educations; happens constantly.
        • Nov 2 2011: Forget the neurological. People do need one another. It is fine to research what "love" does to the body, but would it surprise you that love can also spur on critical thinking? It isn't a delusion you are dealing with but a person.
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        Nov 5 2011: "What is love?" Is a question thought enough about devalues the existential meaning if done in a mono pursuit. The idea of loving only those who are close to you, those whom inspire you and/or anyone who leaves positive emotions is the path humans follow naturally. So what we what we "love" is truly an irrationality. How many teens say "i love you" to a young love?

        Now let's introduce critical thinking; "the art of being right" (italicize - right).

        Ask anyone why they love something, it will include the following; A. Just because B. These qualities C. The selected memorable events and/or D. The emotional/spiritual connection

        Now you (a male) gives me the answer of B followed by D, C, A.

        I consider you are actually "in love" - you care about this woman, in fact you would kill for this woman. A high level of love; devotion, loyalty, emotional (intra-)conscientious, rate of growth in relationships, friendship, trust... A lot of contributing factors.

        Now you settled, you are in love. You will critically think in that direction. You will focus on being devoted, loyal, aware of her needs/wants, changing for her and again overall working at the relationship - continuing the pursuit to "love."

        Yeah, you are right it makes you critical think but not in generalities, not in broad terms that are useful for the everyday situations that does involve heart ache, attachments, attachment-issues, etc. It is easier to love one that is it to love everyone equally. That takes a lot more critical thinking to connect the world and to be altruistic(-like) towards life, than it is to love an individual.

        People need one another in the sense of self identity, in the sense we need to reflect ourselves onto others in order to know who we really are... So existentially the reasons behind your love is the reason behind all of your relationships. Your wanted details were already patterned with others.

        We but an organic robot. Nature vs. Nurture; nature always starts debates.
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          Nov 6 2011: "What is love?"
          Of that which is desired we say we love it but that isn't love, it is our wish for love, more precise, to be loved.

          From those experiences love has to grow inside, not to get it but to give like parents do their children.

          If most desires vanish peace enters. Love grows in appreciation for all we see is to be loved. Then we no longer love this or that (one) but we love everything and all.
          Love has become a force that shuts nothing out, that desires nothing and resides inside as an unshakable peace. In this love nothing is needed, fear is no more, no place left to go to and all is well.

          Young people have to learn, learn to love themselves. Parents learn to give, learn to put another one first. This brings understanding and ultimately peace.
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          Nov 19 2011: I don't understandn what I'm reading and am struggling for a way to share, and just this moment, this is what I'm thinking:

          I control my breakfast, my lunch, and my dinner.
          I control my medicines.
          At the fitness center, I control: my weights, my breath, my pace, my time.
          In my car, I control my speed, my use of traffic signals.
          I control what I read and what I write.
          I control my hygiene. But maybe not my spelling.
          I control how I dress.
          I control maintenance of our home.
          I control the funerals I attend but not the weddings.
          I accept/reject entertianment invitations from friends.
          I control the contributions I make.
          I control my IRA decisions.
          I cannot control my love for my spouse. All she has to do is sigh, and I am out of my chair, asking, "What's wrong! What can I do?" All I have to do is turn a corner and see her and my heart leaps out of my chest and my breath comes quicker. I look up and see her face and start singing, "I've Got a Crush on You," even though I can't sing. I look a flowers she's cut and a poem leaps in my brain--sometimes I write it.

          She is the most independent person I know. She controls me.
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          Nov 21 2011: Nicholas,

          Reading your responses I'm reminded of Heidegger; not sure if you are influenced by him.

          I understand completely the context in which you view need in relation to cultural constructions, which at their heart, I see as mechanisms developed to assuage both the realities and fears of survival. Love is one such development. Reason, another. But to acknowledge the needs of food, shelter, and warmth, and not the 'others' who fed you, sheltered you, and kept you warm while you were yet prone is a conclusion that many philosophers are too comfortable making. I welcome a response that can tell me how 'use' of these others, as you have characterized it, is not also a cultural construction that ignores a biological need of others. Words are always problematic when we want to discuss a non-verbal reality. Definitions of use and need are null. But I do know that you would not be here today to engage in this conversation had your mother and/or father left you exposed to the elements at birth; no amount of instinct could save you.

          So, yes, there is no "self" without relation; but there is also no body without nourishment.
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        Nov 19 2011: You use them, unconsciously in mimesis, in the hierarchy of needs, and overall to survive and create an identity. That is the usage. "Use" not necessarily meaning; taking advantage of, manipulating, and/or being a leech... however unconsciously people do this also, some personalities do it naturally. What is personality is problematic and I reject Jung's general profiles. They are not efficient enough to handle both the developing and types of personalities that create an individuals one persona/person. How much we use someone else is not determined by you, it is determined by your random personalities/personality. Without a series of meditations and self actualization processes, you will have no control over that nature, no matter the nurturing. That being said.

        Love is tricky Mr. Beaver.

        As much as I would like to think I know neurologically about the brain on love, the literature/poetry and the philosophy of "love." I admit I know nothing, I to love a girl very much and all my reason, logic and common sense wither down and me away into me being a child. I can tell you that I am in love and I share this condition with you. But, I cannot say "we do not use our loved ones for love."
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      Nov 4 2011: i like #2 and 3
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    Oct 22 2011: What do I know to be true? Off the top of my head [I may edit later!] here goes:

    1) I know I need to make a distinction between "know" and "know about."
    2) I know I exist.
    3) I know any story I can tell is only a story (even if it is "about" the truth.)
    4) I know we (humans) have a tendency to think our stories are true. (And we often think they are more important even than life.)
    5) I know we all die.
    6) I know that as long as I live there will be more to learn.
    7) I know trying to live up to an ideal is a compromise.
    8) I know "that which is true" does not need to be defended nor does it need to be explained.
    9) I know gratitude.
    10) I know.
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      Oct 23 2011: I like #8, but maybe "that which is true" does need to be defended, in a way. I mean, if we want to share what we believe is true (& the rest of this comment hinges on that "if), we need to communicate it somehow, and enmeshed with that communication IS the defense. The defense is implied, I think. And if someone doesn't understand it, we can't just leave it there, misunderstood, or at least I can't. I find myself saying, "Here's this thing I think is true. If you don't see it right off, then maybe I can explain what I see in it, and maybe then you'll see it, too."
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        Oct 23 2011: Hi Rachel,

        When I chose the word defend, I was using it in it's more aggressive sense, as in, "fight for" - fight for something we assert to be true (fight either verbally or physically)

        If we use the word to mean "clarify" or "elucidate," then we are in agreement.
      • Oct 23 2011: Rachel,
        explaining something why is true, does not make it more true.
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    Tania M

    • +5
    Nov 5 2011: 1. It's essential to be honest with yourself.
    2. Morality is relative, cowardice is not.
    3. One can learn new things every moment.
    4. Hard times can teach a lot.
    5. Never to give up even if you feel like doing so.
    6. Good personal connection with another person is a matter of reciprocal appreciation.
    7. Death is an event with 100% probability, so better make the best of each day we have.
    8. Simple things can bring happiness.
    9. Sometimes purpose does not justify the means.
    10. We can be free only if ready to sacrifice something for it.
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      Nov 5 2011: Is it essential to always be honest with yourself? I believe that total and complete honesty with yourself would be too much to bear... I believe we actually have a protective mechanism for preventing ourselves from being honest all the time.
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        Nov 5 2011: I agree with Jim,

        I try to practice self-actualization and only recently found that it is always a practice, you will never fully realize yourself.

        Only those whom can find light in the seemingly most dark moments should want to focus on self-truth.

        Reality is cold, harsh and neutral. Perceived realities are always being controlled by neuro-stimuli's that are so cognitively clouded, they appear not to exist. Cognitive biases.

        Idealism is a needed practice because pure nihilism is grim. Need to be optimistic, and that requires you to lie to yourself. "I can do this, I can do this... I know I can do this" It is why athletes have superstitions and rituals, because they believe they can't do "it" without them. But truly they do not, they do not need a rabbit foot, they need the placebo (the self created one). The self lie is necessary to achieve in competition and competition is something that everyone pursues. Even if the competition is to be the one not competing the most.


        2. Cowardice is also relative. Retreating from combat is as tactful as charging head on.

        9. I am confused on!

        But the rest are great! Especially 10.
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          Tania M

          • +1
          Nov 5 2011: Nicholas thanks for your comments.
          Self-actualization is a long and ongoing practice. It takes time and effort to accept who you are. Sometimes we can discover that we exact match of what we considered as *I will never-ever do it in my life * at the age of 18. Idealism and nihilism are too extremes that make the world look only black/white. One does not really need to choose between those two extremes, for the reality is more complex – it has a number of shades, nuances and half-nuances. All that makes the reality even more exciting, I guess.
          Cowardice to me means absence of attempt to overcome own fears and prejudices.
          9/Sometimes purpose does not justify the means: at times the efforts applied for achieving some goals come out not to be commensurate to those goals. Is it clearer that way?
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          Nov 6 2011: Nihilism is not necessarily grim. This is an arbitrary value assignment. It would appear that as a result of our physiologically machinated behavioral patterns, Nihilism is bound to feel negative, and therefore linguistically labeled as negative as a result of the associated feelings; however, this does not mean that Nihilism is intrinsically grim outside of a contextual and relative dependency.

          In reference to self-actualization, it appears to me that self actualization is an impossibility if approached within realms of process. Is it not the very idea of actualization that keeps one from achieving the state as it is defined? For there to be a state of self actualization, there must be a state of non-actualization.

          From this point, one may move forward through reality attempting to experience situations that we arbitrarily define as valuable, which are subjectively indicative of an ever approaching achievement of self actualization.

          Yet, if it is our very mind which is defining the the way in which one experience is more valuable or actualizing than another, then ultimately it is empty outside of the human mind's value association.

          If these values associated with actualizing experiences are fundamentally dependent on feelings, which I would assume (given that self actualization would imply fulfillment, peace, or everlasting happiness etc., which can ultimately only be subjectively felt), then it is our very tendency to desire and value that prevents one from experiencing every moment of existence as equally actualizing and fulfilling.

          In conclusion, would being self actualized be anything else but the simple acceptance of reality as it is in any given form of space and at any moment of time without arbitrary value assigned to the experience?
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          Nov 6 2011: Guillermo, to me self-actualization means a process, not a state, therefore *self-actualized* notion is non-attainable per se. Of course, everybody's perception (as well as values) is biased and relative, and, of course, there is no universal truth. And by the way, human language by itself is an arbitrary invention which often fails to meet its objective, e.g. to translate ideas of one person to the other in the same way he/she sees those ideas.
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          Nov 7 2011: .
          Greetings Earthling,
          Everyone should be an optimist, a cynic, a pessemist and a realist. Always hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and do your best to always accurately access your real chances of succeeding and failing. Weight the consequences of failing against the potential gains. But never gamble unless you are able to deal with the worst case scenerio.
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        Tania M

        • +1
        Nov 5 2011: Thanks for the comment, Jim. I can't agree with you for a very simple reason: to be honest with yourself means that you're able to accept own weaknesses and strengths. If you’re not completely honest with yourself and deny your weaknesses then you can’t work on improving them. That kind of self-protection which you’re writing about reminds me of hiding one’s head in the sand, like an ostrich. When we ignore a problem/weakness, it does not cease to exist, you know.
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          Nov 5 2011: We may agree more than you think. I always strive to see things as they are and not deny myself the truth. .. But I don't actually think it's possible to be honest and truthful with myself all the time, not only because I am humanly not capable of it, but also because at any given moment the honesty and truth you are seeking is unattainable.
      • Nov 10 2011: Maybe that same mechanism is what leads everyone to religion.
    • Nov 7 2011: Tania
      I really like your #4 and #8. Hard is just hard, but does bring rewards. I so want right now in my life to get to the point that the simple lifestyle and simple things really bring me the ultimate joy.
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      Nov 19 2011: Re No 1, For about a decade I have written, "When it comes to the universal questions, it is important to admit to yourself, 'I don't know.'"

      However, just last Sunday, I saw a friend I had not seen in 3.5 years, and he asked, "What's your current thinking about whether God exists or not?" I answered, "I don't know. But, I tend to think not."

      My friend said, "That's a change. Before, you were satisfied with 'I don't know.'"

      I immediatley saw my contradiction, and said, "Thank you, Cleve. I needed that."

      The story relates to your No. 6. I need people like Cleve. Many friends cannot even brook the conversation.

      Thank you for a great list.

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    Oct 22 2011: 1. We are all perfect expressions of our DNA.
    2. We are all connected.
    3. The only "thing" that differentiates "all things" is DNA sequencing.
    4. The only constant in Computer Science is that it constantly changes.
    5. We are NOT born to be cogs in the economic wheels of Capitalism, Communism, Socialism or any other economy "ism".
    6. Forgiveness is a powerful agent of human healing.
    7. TED is a source of illumination.
    8. Being yourself makes others uncomfortable.
    9. When one enters Cyberspace one creates a CyberSelf.
    10. Communicating isn't fault tolerant (i.e., error correcting).
    • Oct 22 2011: I'd like to hear more about number 10, "Communicating isn't fault tolerant"
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      Oct 22 2011: I love your 1, 3, 8. :)
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      Oct 22 2011: Hi Amanda,

      Do you consider DNA expression to be the same as predestiny? Or do you think it's responsible for generating our "blank canvas" that we paint on? (sorry about the cheesy analogy).
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        Oct 22 2011: Hi Scott

        A very tricky question that I think needs more definition of the word destiny. My intuition tells me this question leads to numerous paradox.

        I have blue eyes and red hair. Clearly at the moment of conception I was destined to have the attributes blue eyes and red hair. From this example one might conclude DNA expressions are predestiny.

        When I was young, if I were exposed to extreme levels of sunlight I would get headaches. If I were to conclude that my blue eyed read hair DNA profile destines one to have headaches in extreme levels of sunlight I would be wrong. Today I put on sun glasses when exposed to extreme levels of sunlight (mostly when I ski) AND I don't have headaches THUS my DNA profile did not destine me to have headaches in extreme levels of sunlight. (one cheesy deserves another cheesy - LOL).

        In an attempt to zoom in on the question I suggest splitting the spectrum of DNA expressions into Attributes, Stimulus-Response and Behaviors.

        I think Attributes are destiny - At the moment of conception I was destined to express blue eyes and red hair.

        If we have the DNA profile that contains a particular stimulus-response type like getting a headache in extreme levels of sunlight - if you remove the stimulus you remove the response. So Stimulus-Response is probabilistic and I don't think "destiny" contains probabilities - hence there is no destiny with Stimulus-Response.

        Now the deeper question are we destined to behave a particular way?
        My intuition says no - too many variables - but I could be wrong.
        Is there a DNA profile that results in a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent or a Serial Killer?

        So the answer to your question - I think destiny can only be assigned to DNA expressions of Attributes every thing else is a blank canvas.
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      Oct 23 2011: QUOTE: "8. Being yourself makes others uncomfortable."

      Unless being yourself means poking people with a stick, it is actually their reaction, to their unmet expectation of how you SHOULD be (in their company) that makes them uncomfortable.
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        Oct 23 2011: Good point Thomas, but either way, they feel discomfort.
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          Oct 23 2011: That's true.

          (Will we have to increase our lists to 11 to accommodate?)
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    Oct 22 2011: 10 things I know to be true :

    1)Love is powerful and eternal
    2)Most people would not believe #1
    3)Love grows beyond boundaries
    4)Greed kills us
    5)We are all the same (regardless of skin colour,race, belief etc)
    6)We have the right to believe in anything that we want
    7)We don't have the right to impose what we believe on other people
    8)Friends and family are truly important
    9)Hard work= success
    10)Whoever invented ice cream was a genius

    HAVE A NICE DAYY!!!! =)
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    Nov 16 2011: 1. Success occurs when no one loses
    2. Adapt, adjust, review, then act
    3. What matters is generally ignored
    4. Your friends love you anyway
    5. Never forget how you got to where you are
    6. Never forget those who helped get you there
    7. Try not to confuse your career with your life
    8. Patience is not a virtue...it provides mental clarity
    9. Taking yourself serious is serious
    10. Trust your gut...truth is deceiving
  • Nov 12 2011: 1 - keep up the maximum humility to get more recognition and advancement.
    2 - Never to leave an arrogant person without giving him something bad to remember.
    3- Spend all of your effort to do your job even if you know that nobody will recognize it.
    4- Work for your life that you will live for a century and work for your after life that you will die tomorrow.
    5- Any penny that you spend to help a poor person is a huge credit that you will gain cumulatively soon or after a while.
    6- When you feel that something wrong or evil is going to happen stop it by your hands and if not possible stop it by your words and if not possible stop it by wishing.
    7- Always remember that when you ease things for people you are serving, things will be done for you with ease.
    8- Don't go to sleep without blaming yourself about someone you harmed his feelings, even if by mistake.
    9- All peoples are equal and they know and tolerate each other.
    10- This is enough for today...:))

    • Nov 14 2011: Muhammad
      This is a great list. #3 is so simple, but so many people need to learn the lesson now! #5 is incredibly wise. #6 gives me hope if we can really embrace that truth. Thanks.
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    Nov 10 2011: my 10s:

    1) The disaster of insecurity comes to attack your heart when: You're no longer innocent, and once in a while you suddenly realize you don't trust yourself.

    2) And then the prayer comes: "Please help me grow innocence in my older age, and let me trust myself again."

    3) And then, my inner voice said to me: "Hey, please believe in wonder."

    4) "You urge to change, then better re-discover the gut, and be not-be-wise-too-early."

    5) "Make a wish to change yourself, not to change the world."

    6) "Finally, I understand that letting-go is to un-attach to any negative energy you've been holding onto."

    7) then again, the struggle comes back, and say: "I don't want to be so wise too early now, I like the life having some holding-on.....coz that is the youth's thoughts."

    8) so, "Between the stage of young & old, you are lost."

    9) many people write 10 things of different subjects, whereas I find endless points revealing to be true within a chain of thoughts, so my 10 points here ....is a co-related hints in a story.

    10) Final, but not least, "Everything will flow is a belief that u can witness, yet hard to not let-go that it's a truth."

    haha...struggle seems to be a through-out theme in above 10s.
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    Nov 5 2011: Here is my list, in no particular order... (actually more of a Saturday morning 2nd cup of coffee snapshot)

    1. A dog that barks at the moon knows something we don't

    2. Traveling by foot is better than any other way to travel

    5. Where the sea meets the lands is ever-changing

    9. Everything is comparable to everything else

    3. The story of the Tower of Babel is a good one

    8. Good storytelling in general is the most sophisticated of teaching tools

    7. There are as many separate realities as there are people

    6. Gardens are a great place to be.

    4. Ideas are the sperm of creation; we are the egg.

    10. How I love my coffee
    • Nov 7 2011: Ah Jim. So many good things here. #5 is so true and says a lot about the real world. #3. is interesting because it is a good story and does talk about our striving. 6. is definitely lovely. I love to watch things grow. 10 has not been mentioned in anyones list so you get a thumbs up for one of the deepest most satisfying truths in the whole world. I like it that you be non-sequential or maybe the rest of us are just catching up.
  • Nov 2 2011: 1. True friendships are priceless.
    2. Forgiving can be difficult but worth the peace of mind.
    3. People will show you who they truly are right away.
    4. Invest daily in your intellectual, physical and spiritual self.
    5. People and relationships are seasonal.
    6. Be slow to judge; we each are a sum of our experiences and circumstances.
    7. Being your true and complete self is the bravest thing one can achieve.
    8. Laughter and smiles are contagious and should be spread.
    9. Be kind, give generously and the universe will reciprocate exponentially.
    10. Judge all things by what it will cost you.
    • Nov 2 2011: Demetria
      I like #7 and that truth is about to launch me into a whole new world. Some call it bravery, some foolhardiness, I call it shear utter boldness.
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      Nov 3 2011: Demetria, I loved your list.Thanks for sharing it.
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      Nov 3 2011: #3: I would like to add: "if your eyes are willing to see"
      • Nov 3 2011: That is so true and a great add. Thank you Giusi.
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          Nov 4 2011: I remember someone once said that when a person tells you who they are and what their shortcomings are believe them.
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      Nov 4 2011: Demetria,
      your #7 is a heart-trigger. Thank you.
      #4 where's the emotional aspect? I wonder...

      true wisdom re-vitalised by your list. Thank you.
      • Nov 4 2011: Thank you. I strive to be a more true and complete me daily. I link my emotional health to my spiritual health/investment. I will consider more investment in my emotional health as well.
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          Nov 4 2011: I am also investing more into emotional health since it opens the heart-region
          Are U like me primarly spiritual-oriented? For me universal love was easy, but being emotional-balanced wasn't so easy along the way and my little daughter confronted me on many occasions that my emotions are not so free as I assumed they were... our children can lead us to ourselves.
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      Nov 19 2011: No. 4. I understand motivation and inspiration, but do not undersatnd "spritual self."
      Please elaborate on that.

  • Oct 29 2011: 10 Things I Know to be True before I die

    1 Life is like the last three letters of the word life. It's "if" "e"

    2 The world doesn't go 'round and 'round. People do

    3 Having faith means not having to do anything or know the truth

    4 Disillusionment is the last illusion

    5 Having an edge is better than having something to take the edge off

    6 Everything is bullshit but some bullshit works better than my bullshit

    7 Politics: poli means many and tics are blood-sucking parasites

    8 Things don't "get done" because of money. Things "don't get done", ...because of money

    9 Pain is relative. A very close relative!

    10 Idiots! This was the Garden!
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      Nov 13 2011: Outstanding!
    • Nov 14 2011: Random (may I call you that?)
      I loved your humor. I especially like your #'s 6 and 10. We all sling it sometimes, some is definitely more worthy of it. Yeah this is the garden, we can get some of it back.
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      Nov 15 2011: I love #s 6 and 7
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      Nov 15 2011: i feel a strange affinity...and i like germany,deautchland in fact
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      Nov 18 2011: I'm interested in your reaction to my thought on No. 3.

      Taking "faith" to mean trust in and commitment to something, and taking reality as the object of faith, you must do the work to achieve understanding.
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      . . 100+

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      Nov 19 2011: Random Chance !! Beautiful. I like it.
      "Having faith means not having to do anything or know" everything.
      This flows better for me :-) :-)
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    • Oct 26 2011: Nice Ed.
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      Oct 26 2011: Yeah, Ed, I think you nailed it. but, ummmmm, got any examples of absolute truth?
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      Oct 27 2011: I am reminded of Steve Martin who said that he studied just enough philosophy in college to screw him up for the rest of his life.
  • Oct 23 2011: What a great conversation. Thanks to everyone for sharing their top ten.

    1. There is positive and negative associated with everything
    2. When you stop learning, you stop living
    3. Compromise is the art of civilization
    4. Everyone is the same, everyone is different
    5. All software is late
    6. Listening is more important than speaking
    7. It is never too late to change
    8. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you – is a pretty good start
    9. Without food and shelter, everything else becomes meaningless
    10. Music is magic
    • Oct 25 2011: #5 - love it Dan
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      Oct 26 2011: Positive and Negative are value judgments imposed by human perception, not actual characteristics of real things in the world.
      Music is emotion communicated.
      Death beats 7
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        Oct 27 2011: So the truth may be that everyone has a positive to negative (or negative to positive, no bias implied) scale we apply to the world? I like that. That has far reaching implications.
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          Oct 27 2011: I'm not sure what implications you refer to, but our perception can be more or less accurate depending upon many factors, like health, and colored by our experience or lack thereof. Best to keep an open mind.

          I think I made the point to argue against imposing human limits of perspective upon these truth statements, although looking at it now, this may imply a universal truth about human nature, that we are always making value judgments from a subjective position. That is important because the truths I'm looking for must not be limited to one group or cultural perspective, they should be independent of our individual perception, not mired within it.
    • Oct 27 2011: Ooh, ooh! Yeah totally! I am making "It's never too late to change" my number 11. And right on with the rest! Great post, thanks!
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      Oct 27 2011: I wish I had said something about music or art in my list. This is a great list.
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    Oct 23 2011: Ten Things I Know to Be True:

    1. Every person has the capacity to be a teacher and a student for every person.
    2. One of the most important lessons to learn is simply to pay attention.
    3. Complacency, like idle hands, is a play thing for the devil.
    4. Sartre was right in No Exit when Cradeau (Garcin) says, "Hell is just - other people," but the meaning of this is not as apparent as it first seems.
    5.While ignorance may be bliss to the ignorant, it is dangerous to others who are around.
    6. Even though our brains are hard-wired to keep us breathing, we should all put more focus and deliberate attention into this task every day,
    7.You can tell a lot about a person's value structures by watching them drive in traffic.
    8. There is no such thing as a bad book. (This does not make every book worth being read by every person.)
    9. Our culture treats time as a religion, but as in many ancients texts, much is lost in translation and interpretation.
    10. Simplicity is hard to come by, but well worth the complex struggle to get there.
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      Oct 23 2011: I totally agree with you on #7. The way a person drives in traffic tells you so much about the person. Are they cooperating with traffic for the welfare of everyone on the road, or competing with other cars to "come out ahead" of everyone else? Are they risking the lives of others on the road to get what they think they need to be happy about their place on the road? Are they bullying other drivers by tailgating? Are they disregarding speed limits because "everybody else is doing it," a kind of rebellious conformity? Do they go through red lights and stop signs because they believe the rules don't apply to them? Dangerous drivers are dangerous to other people in so many ways that transcends the traffic experience. I believe that lane weavers who speed and tailgate every car ahead of them are likely to be abusive and possibly violent in their personal relationships.
  • Oct 23 2011: 1. Listen to your body's wisdom.
    2. Live in the present, for it is the only moment you have.
    3. Take time to be silent, to meditate.
    4. Relinquish your need for external approval.
    5. When you find yourself reacting with anger or opposition to any person or circumstance, realize that you are only struggling with yourself.
    6. Know that the world "out there" reflects your reality "in here."
    7. Shed the burden of judgement.
    8. Don't contaminate your body with toxins, either food, drink, or toxic emotions.
    9. Replace 'fear'-motivated behavior with 'love'-motivated behavior.
    10. Understand that the physical world is just a mirror of a deeper intelligence
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    Oct 23 2011: As I see it.

    1) The world is as it should be.
    2) The only thing we can change in the world is our way of seeing it.
    3) The whole universe depends on the existence of even the smallest thing in it.
    4) Love and light have no opposites only deficits.
    5) The only certainty there is is that nothing is sure.
    6) Trust is the only guarantee in life.
    7) The only goal in life is feeling good.
    8) Good feeling is the beacon that guides through life.
    9) Fear is the main cause of all evil.
    10) Self-importance leads to misery, compassion to joy.
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    Oct 22 2011: .
    1. People are always more good than bad if you give them a chance.
    2. Never stop learning. Education is the most empowering tool ever - the "great equalizer"
    3. Despite what Disney taught us, friendship is 10x more important than romance or passion.
    4. Nearly all my most cherished memories involve the little things - nothing events.
    5. The questions you ask can be more telling of your character than the answers you give, and can often teach you more too.
    6. The goal of being happy is good enough.
    7. If you take time, health and loved ones for granted, then you will learn that nothing lasts forever in a very devastating way.
    8. There is always growth and a certain beauty in pain.
    9. The most fulfilling and lasting happiness comes from making others happy.
    10. In the end, the relationships you've forged are what it's all about.
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      Oct 22 2011: Loved
      People are always more good than bad if you give them a chance.
      Nearly all my most cherished memories involve the little things - nothing events.
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      Oct 22 2011: I really love your list. Especially:
      Education is the most empowering tool
      The goal of being happy is good enough
      The questions you ask can be more telling of your character than the answers you give
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    Nov 20 2011: "10 Things I Know to be True."
    1. Life is a continuous self-learning process, which is always about balance and unconditional love.
    2. It doesn't matter what happens to you, it does matter how you respond to it.
    3. Fear can make the smartest person do the stupidest thing.
    4. Parents are not always right. So, as children we are supposed to watch, learn, forgive and stand up for ourselves when it's needed.
    5. Like attracts like.
    6. Everything happens for a reason.
    7. It's your life, no need to rush, take your time to make the most of it.
    8. To heal the pain, don't run away from it. Instead, feel it and magnify it.
    9. Your energy turns into thoughts, feeling, words and actions which in turn create your life experiences.
    10. To be positive or negative, happy or unhappy, is just a choice to make. It is the choices we make that makes who we are.

    Love and Light,
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    Nov 18 2011: 1.the one who isn't talking probably has the most interesting things to say
    2.give credit where credit is due
    3.chocolate is good for you
    4.there is nothing like waking up to the smell of breakfast cooking
    5.sometimes we have to state the obvious
    6.more is just...more
    7.human beings are resilient, we will survive
    8.where ever there is a vacuum, SOMETHING will come to fill it
    9.Love really is the answer
    10.Life is precious
    • Nov 18 2011: Sherrie
      I so agree with you on #4. There is something about that smell that is good and true.
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        Nov 21 2011: when I was very small my grandmother would get up early to write an article for the local newspaper and then go out and feed the horses, chickens, ducks, cats and dogs. After all of that she would come in and make breakfast for all of us still warm in our beds. The smell of coffee, bacon, biscuits and eggs wafting up through the stairwell was heaven; especially on a cold winter morning when the last thing I wanted to do was crawl out of my bed. Oh those days are forever emblazoned on my mind.
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      . . 100+

      • +1
      Nov 20 2011: Sherrie - I love your list - and agree with Michael M about " waking up to the smell of breakfast cooking"....mmmmmmm...I usually include Chocolate in my breakfast....and a quick bit on the way here and there ;-):-)
      What I love the most is : #9 " Love really is the answer " - again and again - yes.
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        Nov 20 2011: Life is precious in every form that it manifests. Thanks for reminding us Sherrie!
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        Nov 21 2011: the thing about chocolate that I LOVE is that it is a connection to the past, to the richness of history. It makes me think of times when society was moving at a much slower pace and to sit and enjoy a cup of chocolate was almost an art. To linger and taste the sensuous, powerful flavor pour over the tongue and then fill the stomach and the upward rush of mood, it must have been almost magical. And yes, life is so precious and fragile. It yields, as it must, to the stronger and more determined but that does not mean that it is weak or wasted. Life.....and living is at the top of my list actually :)
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      Nov 18 2011: I TOTALLY agree with #3. always always true
      #10 is hard to achieve and at times can not be true
      I know #1 is absolutely true but sounds a bit abstract bcz I think there is nothiing more selfish than love.
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          Nov 19 2011: absolutely nothing compares with the LOVE of the mother figure who bears the child for a cycle of 9 months then delivers it in pain and agony to this world to remind both herself and the baby that no true happiness ever awaits them after the extraordinary moment.
          dont want to seem pessimistic but ....
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      Nov 18 2011: Unfortunately #5 is true; but perhaps we could look at it as something good arising from something bad or a lesson learned.

      I'm not sure society would be able to function very well if we were honest all the time...
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    Nov 16 2011: I registered on Ted just to be apart of this conversation.
    Here's my 10:
    1) Life is not fair.
    2) Death is only the beginning.
    3) Everyone we encounter comes from a different background and has a different story to tell.
    4) Religion is for people who need to be guided on how to act and how to live.
    5) As we grow older in years, it is tougher and tougher to find happiness.
    6) To see a change in this world, we must first change ourselves into what we want the world to change into.
    7) It is always greener on the other side, until we get there and look back and see how great we had it.
    8) Traveling opens your mind.
    9) An Idea can not bleed, have emotions, or die. A idea is a very powerful thing with the right people who believe in it.
    10) Humans are capable of achieving great feats. This is possible because of the powerful mind we all posses.
    I'm sure some oppose the things I've said, I'm sorry if I offended anyone but this is what I see in the world we live in today and what I believe to be true.
    • Nov 18 2011: I like your #4 Quoc. It made me stop and think.

      However, I was sad to see your #5. I'm finding that getting older is way more fun and interesting and joyful than I was lead to believe. I'm sorry if you're not experiencing that.
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      Nov 18 2011: Welcome Quoc Doan! We are glad you are with us! Fascinating list!
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      Nov 18 2011: I definitely agree with #4, and most of everything else. I would like to say, however, that I think that life is only unfair if you let it be unfair. At least in my rather young, generation Y perspective.

      Welcome to TED! I'm sure you'll spend many hours on this site, procrastination has never been so fruitful.
    • Nov 18 2011: Quoc
      I love #8 and fully intend to spend the rest of my life proving it.