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Cleo Abram

Student , Columbia University - Columbia College


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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 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.

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