9 TED Talks With Incredible Life Lessons

9 TED Talks With Incredible Life Lessons

Dying, although not something we like to think of, is the largest vault of life education.

I love TED talks. They have TED talks to make you laugh, cry, or angry, all while educating you. I these hold the most important lessons because of their relative nature to the most important aspects of life.

1. "This is what happens when you reply to spam email" | James Veitch

In the midst of all of the educational and inspirational TED Talks, I found this gem. James Veitch has done multiple TED Talks and they all center around him instigating in some mischievous activity to mess with people. This video, in particular, involves James responding to a spam email inquiring about a “business proposal.” The video involves James playing this person about going into the gold business. The video makes me want to reply to all the spam emails in my inbox.

2. "If I should have a daughter ..." | Sarah Kay

This TED Talk was the one that pulled me in first. I had found it in Shailee Modi’s article “5 Times Poetry Blew Me Away,” and she was right, I couldn’t stop watching. Sarah spoke of why she writes and what she writes. The poems she speaks sandwich together her talk. She kept me on the edge of my seat and I wanted to hear every last word she would spout.

3. "I don't want children -- stop telling me I'll change my mind" | Christen Reighter

As a young woman, I can relate to everyone since I was a child talking to me as if having a family is the “end game” game for me. Christen Reighter decided that not only was motherhood, not her “end game,” but she wanted to not chance it by undergoing sterilization. In her TED Talk, talks about all the obstacles and patronizing looks and speeches she had while going through the preceding steps of this medical procedure. She makes it clear that bearing children is a bonus of feminism not the foundation of it.

4. "Plus-size? More Like My Size" | Ashley Graham | TEDxBerkleeValencia

I’m not sure where or when I first started seeing and hearing of Ashley Graham, but it seems as if one moment she was nowhere and the next she was everywhere and for good reason. Ashley speaks of her experience as a model, how when telling others of her profession she was made to feel as though she had to clarify that she was a “plus-size” model. I enjoyed this talk so much because she pushes on my favorite belief that beauty is not defined by size.

5. "Paper towns and why learning is awesome" | John Green

I’ve been watching John Green’s YouTube channel and reading his books for years. I love listening to him speak because he talks about an agenda with the goal of wanting to teach and make others learn. In his talk, he speaks of his

6. "What does it mean to be beautiful?" | Esther Honig | TEDxVancouver

This journalist speaks about her DIY social project gone viral. She speaks of how her experiment to be not hers anymore, but an expansion gifted to the social domain and whoever feels like their point of view is worth exploring. This will make you think about what beauty is and how the perspective changes from every culture to geographical location.

7. "Inside the mind of a master procrastinator" | Tim Urban

I admit I am guilty of procrastinating when possible and even when impossible. So, I can say (or type) that this is very relatable for all of us that are procrastinators and very informative for those who identify as “non-procrastinators.”

8."The lies we tell pregnant women" | Sofia Jawed-Wessel

Again, with the not trusting women with their own bodies. In her Talk, Sofia informs us of myths that pregnant women are told to “protect” them. She made me think of the way I socially view those who are expecting and how I should stop viewing them.

9."Lessons from the Dying" | Marie-Jo Cleghorn | TEDxQueensU

I think dying, although not something we like to think of, is the largest vault of education in life. Marie-Jo relays to us the lessons that she learned from those who were dying and added to her life. The biggest lesson I learned is that you should never settle for who you are and always move to be a better person.

TED talks can teach you lessons that you could never fathom possible, but isn’t that the glory of a good lesson?

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?


Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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