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Jordan Reeves

TED-Ed Community Manager, TED Conferences

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What's one thing you wish you had learned in school?

Maybe it's not your traditional math, science, social studies, or arts and humanities class--maybe it's something different. If you could learn one lesson in school, what would it be?

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    Nov 2 2011: The art of positive thinking, why money isn't everything and how image doesn't mean anything - no matter how much the high street wants you to believe otherwise. However these probably aren't practical subjects.
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      Nov 2 2011: Geoff I agree that a positive mentality is vital, but let us not forget that we are forging the nations future here. If we built an entire society along these guidelines that money isn't everything and image means nothing, it could have a drastic affect.
      I think what needs to be encouraged is not a devaluation of the goal of having material wealth, but an emphasize on how other things in life have great value, such as family, togetherness, humanism, and charity.
      It is possible to enrich the quality of a person by invigorating these values, without negative reinforcement toward 'getting rich.'
      • Nov 2 2011: You're damn right it could have a drastic affect!! An entire nation of emotionally balanced young people, seeking nothing than to further advance the welfare and happiness of those around them..
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          Nov 3 2011: Morison, wouldn't that be terrible. Can you imagine?!
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        Nov 3 2011: While I see your point Timothy, I disagree somewhat. We both agree that positive thinking would be beneficial. However money isn't everything, and I'm not sure that you are arguing otherwise but I can't see an attitude such as this having a drastically negative effect on our planet as a whole (not just the nation). If we were the only nation to adopt such an attitude about money then I can see where you are coming from with that point.
        In response to your view on image, it is at least very often misleading. OK, maybe there is something to be said for image however I can't think of anything off the top of my head.
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          Nov 3 2011: This is only an argument of negative reinforcement vs. positive reinforcement. a similar example would be the argument about self image in advertisement. Many people feel that magazines of beautiful women give young ladies image association issues by making them feel that they need to starve themselves to be attractive.
          In retaliation to this form of thinking 'big is beautiful' has become somewhat of a catch slogan amongst those that are essentially promoting a lifestyle that devalues fitness and healthy eating. This is not a successful attitude.

          In the same perspective, why attack the idea that having money and being financially successful 'isn't everything?' That sort of negativity towards people who make goals of financial freedom and achieve them has no positive support. INSTEAD we can simply encourage the proper values of unity and togetherness.
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          Nov 4 2011: I am sorry that i am not speak eglish as my mother tongue,so i cannot express my perspective correctly.But actually,i agree with you.
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        Nov 3 2011: I absolutely agree with you.Maybe we can feel that money is not that necessary in our life after our various exprience,but we cannot instill this idea by schooling.People should realise this idea in person.If told him directly, he would think money is nothing instead of not regard money as crucial.
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          Nov 4 2011: Right I think there has been some confusion here. I never intended to "attack" the idea that money isn't everything. Does the statement "money isn't everything" really sound like "negativity" to you? I'm just repeating something that anyone who has lived life until old age will more than likely tell you anyway. If you disagree with that statement then we certainly have very different views about life and what we hope to achieve throughout its duration. However I'm still not sure you do disagree, or whether you thought I was attacking the idea of having monetary life goals.

          To conclude, I absolutely agree with what you previously said:
          "I think what needs to be encouraged is not a devaluation of the goal of having material wealth, but an emphasize on how other things in life have great value, such as family, togetherness, humanism, and charity."
      • Nov 4 2011: There is a huge gulf between the exec who dreams of nothing but the next dollar, and someone living an ascetic life in the woods. Maybe we could hope to teach an appreciation for what money is: a tool. Like all tools, it's put to use to accomplish things (like, food every day and a warm bed). It allows you to save, to protect yourself from troubles over time. In putting down single-mindedness, lets not pretend that money isn't damn useful, especially when there's none around...

        I wonder if a lot of people now think that w live in a zero-sum economy, that somehow, by doing with less, they enhance someone else's ability to have more. Perhaps we should teach economics. Whether you're a Keynesian or a laizze-faire-ist or think it's all bunk, it would be something if we could have a more knowledgeable citizenry in the discussion of national and world economic policies.

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