TED talks are one of the main sources of knowledge, inspiration and are a window into the world for many people. In this series of essays, I will reflect upon 10 TED talks that really inspire me.
Greta Thunbergs amazingly inspiring speech on her protest against the climate crisis and her struggle against the world leaders prompted a standing ovation from the audience. She talks about how she became a climate activist, and why, while also mentioning that she was diagnosed with ADHD, Aspergers, OCD and selective mutism. She also talks about what must be done and how to do it. Also speaking about her future generation and so-called green politicians, she then delivers a scathing insight into the worlds politicians and her opinions. Most of her points are also mentioned in her COP24 speech but that doesnt make them any less true. I really aspire to someday make as much on influence as her. She doesnt stop at anything in her way.
In this talk, Samantha Pena thoroughly describes her experience with OCD or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. She explains a childhood incident that made her realize her need for balance in the body, or symmetry, and also defines what it feels like to be unbalanced. She then shows four Instagram posts which inaccurately use the word OCD. She has three main concepts, as she puts it, to her OCD. They are symmetry, perfection, and time management. She also outlines her advantages and disadvantages with these things and, in the end, remarks that her OCD is a privilege to her and keeps her organized. Personally, I have no experience with OCD but I think this talk has really given me an insight into disabilities. People often use them as throwaway remarks and I think that is somewhat disrespectful to the people who have disabilities. Overall, this talk helps me to understand OCD and the ups and downs of it.
Laura Bates is the founder of a website called Everyday Sexism Project and it has gone worldwide. Women from all over the globe have sent in their experiences of sexual harassment, from trivial little things to huge issues like rape. She outlines three incidents that really opened up her eyes to the sexual harassment towards women that was happening in the UK, and decided to do something about it. She thinks most people try to ignore that the problem exists because they do not want to acknowledge the fact that this IS a problem. She then speaks of examples of stories that had been sent in, and the threats she has received from men who feel threatened and ousted by her website. She also adds that men and women have an equally important role in building gender inequality. I very strongly support her, the feminist movement and Me Too hashtag. I have also sent in my personal harassment story which happened to me under a pseudonym. I will continue to support women like her, and I will continue to support gender equality both vocally and mentally.
The Zero Waste lifestyle is a movement which is both admired and ridiculed by society. Bea Johnson, the founder of this movement, gives an inspirational and invigorating talk on how she, her husband and two children live a healthy, sustainable, and most importantly, zero-waste life. She talks about when she was first starting and experimenting with reusable household items and homemade product that didnt require her to buy disposable items. Showing pictures of each room in her house and her reusable appliances, she explains what its like and how she manages it with her two kids and husband. She then shows pictures of her family and her going on vacation. I, for one, would be delighted if I could adopt this lifestyle. Unfortunately, Thailand and its society are not very accepting of movements like these as it is still a society ruled by consumerists and advertising. I hope that in the future, my generation will still have enough time to undo what this generations leaders have failed to undo.
Dave Chawner is a stand-up comedian and campaigner who works with UKs biggest eating disorder help organization, Beat. In his humor-laced and informative talk, he describes his experience with anorexia and how he got over it. He shows statistics, claiming that 98% of anorexics are female and that men are more likely to get bulimia. In the end, he states that if people would talk more openly about it, the problem would get less serious and that its nothing to be ashamed of. From my point of view, I think most peoples eating disorders stem from societys standards. We are expected to be thin, have abs and big muscles, or big chests and bottoms, or a pretty face. Society has greatly lowered the value of knowledge and compassion and is- and has been for decades- focusing instead on whether we are good-looking.
Suicide or suicidal thoughts have become a running joke or punch line in todays culture, or so it seems. Sarah Liberti, a student from Adelphi University, elaborates on this in her talk. She produces many examples of puns, jokes and so-called memes that are about suicide, and talks about how it has become a common bond for students and adults at the workplace alike. Mentioning how most people deign to avoid the subject altogether, she recalls her experiences of telling her trusted colleagues, only to have them push her away or be awkward. She then speaks out to suicidal people, saying that it will get better, if only they ask for help. To people who know suicidal people, she encourages them to ask if they are alright or need assistance. Personally, I havent any experience with depression or suicidal thoughts, but I agree with her whole-heartedly. Our society tends to tell people to suck it up or cheer up when its not that simple. Most people, I feel, are afraid to reach out for help because they fear that others will think they are looking for attention, or being weak, or lying.
Domestic abuse or domestic violence has become somewhat common in todays society and comes in many different ways. 1 in 3 women have or will experience this in their lifetime. Lizzy Glazer, a survivor of verbal and psychological abuse, shares her story in this eye-opening speech. She starts off with examples of belittling and deprecating remarks, and then speaks of her verbally abusive father and her childhood. She outlines the five signs of an abusive and toxic relationship, which are belittling, brainwashing, isolation from others, verbal abuse and denial of wrongdoing. She says people tend to shy away from discussing this topic because its easier to sweep away than to openly talk about it. I, myself, agree with her. Domestic violence is often viewed to be only physical, and people can often gloss over verbal and psychological wrongdoing. Thailand is a society in which there is one leader in the family, and either the man or woman holds the power, thus very easily domestic abuse can occur.