Part III: Our Identity Started Yesterday
Speaker #8: Darren Wershler
My problem: I had a very engaging talk with one of the TEDxWaterloo’s organizers during the second break and didn’t get to eat. But luckily, I brought my own cut-up apples with peanut butter snack. Little did I know my chewing would sound so loud in the music hall! So during Darren’s talk, admittedly, I was too preoccupied with trying to chew as quietly as possible, and I wasn’t able to truly listen to and appreciate his talk. He did make good jokes though!
Video #3: Matthew Childs
“Fear really sucks because what it means is you’re not focusing on what you’re doing. You’re focusing on the consequences of failing at what you’re doing…”
Added to my favorite quotes list.
Speaker #9: Marty Avery
Marty really stood out for me because she actually came to talk to my friend and I before TED started! She came to where we were sitting in the audience, and I immediately said, “You’re one of the speakers right? I’m good with faces but not with names. What is your name again?” And she was impressed 😀 We just chatted about how her birthday is coming up soon and how she and her friends were going rafting, and I shared with her my Northern Ireland story (they were related, I swear). The one thing she mentioned that really stood out for me was, “I’m glad you’re not asking me about what I do.”
I found that somewhat profound. How I interpret that is, usually, when you meet someone new, the first thing you ask after you get their name is, “So, what do you do?” and that sometimes limits the conversation. Moreover, if what they do makes no sense to you, then that’s the first impression they get to give you. However, if instead, you start with just making connections with another human-being through sharing experiences and stories, the way we did of just chatting about what we were excited about in our “normal” lives, then that opens up more opportunities for connection and empathy.
Which reminds me, during the first break, I was in the crowd trying to get to the refreshments when someone tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “Have you met the founder of Two Mangoes?” and pointed to the guy next to him. I ended up talking to the founder but not to the person who introduced us. I thought the first guy was amazing in connecting people. Then, the founder of Two Mangoes was also amazing (or read the same book as me) because after we discussed his website/start-up, he asked me, “So, what do you spend your time doing?” I read in a book awhile back called How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes and that was one of the things she recommended people using as an opening line in a conversation instead of, “So, what do you do?” as the latter limits people to discussing their job, which might not be something they spend most of their time doing or even enjoy it. However, that question has never been asked to me before so I was caught off guard, and I just said I was a graduate student anyway (I should’ve said “Research” and “Read blogs.”)
Back to Marty, she had an incredible stage presence and although I wasn’t sure what her point was at first (which made me tune out of her “performance” at various points in her storytelling), she did connect it back in the end with the idea of connecting with others. She mentioned how she tried to make eye contact and say hi to around 15 people in the crowd during the break and not a single person looked back at her. She asks that we look people in the eye and actually see them. I’m not sure why there were more than one Avatar-related comment today, but that really reminded me of “I see you” from the movie.
“Move over enough for another person to exist.” I thought that quote was lovely.
“The biggest sin is indifference.”
Perhaps it was because she was using her high school teacher as an example earlier, but towards the end she really made me think of my 8th grade humanities teacher…
Speaker #10: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
7 Notes on Life
A – Always trust magic. So many magic moments have happened relating to this event it’s quite amazing actually.
B – Beckon the lovely. “Whatever you look for you will find.” Well, this is the year I “find” love, so I will keep looking 🙂
C – Connect. “We are all connected.” 8th grade humanities teacher “all things are connected”
D – Do. “If I tell you, ‘Tomorrow is the day you do this one thing,’ you know what that one thing is.” That’s kind of true actually. But I disagree with the idea that saying it out loud makes it “lose the juice” (and someone on Twitter has the same thought as me).
E – Empty Space. “Between the busyness, space is golden,” Made me think of the conversation I had with the TEDxWaterloo organizer during the break about this exact idea! Amy said we should choose to disconnect so that we can aim for creation not reaction (which is “creation” reshuffled!). Again, my thoughts from last year about how I need to start creating!
F – Figure it out as you go. I don’t need everything mapped out. Something I definitely struggle with. Which relates to me not being able to listen to the unplanned silences.
G – Go to it. “What makes you come alive?” “The world needs people to come alive.” My answer at the moment was “connecting with others and connecting people.” It’s interesting for me to notice that I love to connect to others and connection people I know with others I know because I am entirely content spending time by myself reading or working on things.