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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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    Nov 17 2011: I've never put these ideas into list form before now, but here's what I came up with:

    1. The only things in life we truly own are our time and our effort.
    2. How we use our time and apply our effort sets the stage for what happens to us.
    3. Every action has consequences.
    4. We cannot predict all of the consequences of every action.
    5. How we respond to unforeseen consequences goes a great way toward defining who we are.
    6. Learning is the only way to make the best of the life we have.
    7. If we are not growing, we're dying.
    8. We cannot improve one person's life by making another person's life worse.
    9. Charity is an individual act that cannot succeed if compelled by force.
    10. The best thing we can do in life is leave the world better than we found it.

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