TED Conversations

Mohammed Al Medfa

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What wrong(s) would you right?

Hi there everyone,

I'd like to ask, what wrongs you believe there are in the world, that you would make right, if you could.

I posted a related question, asking "What would you tell children about following their dreams?" over here:
& another asking "How will you strive to change the world?"

I'm asking these questions as part of a video project of mine related to inspiring people to follow their dreams, right wrongs, and strive to change the world. Its all part of a web and real world project dedicated to enabling and empowering people, which we're starting called Utopian.

I'd love to quote the answers that some of you provide to this question and the other questions, and use them in the video. We'll be constructing a kind of 'visual wall' featuring everyone's statements.

We'll credit each person by placing their name next to their statement on the wall, which we'll be filming as an important part of the video.

I think these are deeply important subjects, and I'd love to hear what everyone has to say.

Thanks a lot,


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    Dec 13 2011: i would encourage everyone to be themselves and not pretend or want to be or to become someone else.Knowing once's self they get to know their abilities and their weaknesses.That achievement will give them the power and the will to follow their dreams.Therefore,people would definitely realize that we are all related to each other in many ways,that we are brothers.
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      Dec 14 2011: I completely agree Manos. Knowing oneself is integral to everything in life. Especially looking forward, rather than backward. I think its unfortunate that so much of 'identity' is defined by looking backward in life. We ask not where someone wishes to go, but rather where they come from. We have history sections in libraries, but not future sections.

      Your dreams define your identity and your identity defines your dreams. There can be little joy or honest success living someone else's idea of a good life.
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        Dec 14 2011: You made a good point about the emphasis we give in one's past and not in their dreams and wishes.Sometimes we do that i believe to find common characteristics with our past.It's like trying to connect the other person with us.However,sometimes we use other's past and we focus in some mistakes they made so as to feel better with ours.Good parable this you made about the libraries,i hadn't thought it that way!
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          Dec 15 2011: Of course you are right, and ones past can be a basis for connections. I think the real distinction is that usually the kind of information we use to define identity is stuff that a person has no control over (Age, gender, nationality) rather than the things we do have control over. And it is your choices that define you, so I think defining people by the choices they make and where they want to go, tells us so much more about them.

          Also in my opinion this focus on the past over the future shows up in many other places too. For example a museum displaying likely concept technologies and ways of living that people may take up would be just as valuable as simply seeing the items of the past.
        • Dec 27 2011: Great Mohammed. Exactly my thoughts. (I have been unable to particiapte the last few days.)
      • Dec 15 2011: Mohhamed
        Yes, we cannot live others lives, or the one's they want us to live. I am still struggling with that! Freeing people has to mean something about them actually having the opportunity to 1) have self-identity 2) an opportunity to dream.

        Manos great comment.
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          Dec 15 2011: Mohammed
          Right,a combination of someone's past,their future (their dreams) and also their choices define them.The only part i disagree is that someone's future is not ensured,i mean they might say they want to live in a particular way and achieve specific goals,however their past is already 'concrete'. Another parameter that plays role is their history as nationality.What i mean is that when i meet a foreigner and i ask him where he is from i do that to build a bridge with his nation's philosophy and history and tradition so as to approach him,to understand him better.

          I totally agree with your point and in my opinion those two should be everyone's goals.
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          Dec 17 2011: Yes Michael I'm sure it stays an eternal struggle for all of us all our lives. I think it comes down to that moment where we're about to accept whatever default idea is in front of us, and instead take the moment to ask 'but is this truly what I agree with? And if this decision is going to shape my life, shouldn't my life stem from who I am and what I believe?'

          I don't think in the long run one will ever regret those choices. I think it's almost a form of integrity :)

          Manos, the thing is that for me it's their desire that defines them. Even if it is someone's wish to do something and they do not achieve it, it still tells me a very important part of who they are. To me it's where we wish to go, and what we wish the world to be like that really says the most about someone. That's also exactly it really I don't think identity should be concrete and immutable. It's true it is a combination of both I just think we currently put too much of a focus on what is immutable and has already taken place when deciding things about a persons identity.

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