In this era of free distribution of information, the internet can be quite a depressing place to be, for a humanist at least. Some time ago, I read how people in parts of the African continent chop off the hands of albino children believing them to have magical properties. A while back, I also read where a man in India was being sentenced to having his 2 sisters raped as punishment for his alleged crime. Then there’s the Syrian Civil War, the situation in Yemen and now Refugee Crisis. There is always something bad happening somewhere.
While we do need to hear and understand these occurrences to motivate and mobilize us to do something, too much of this can’t be healthy. This is why my favourite corner of the Wild Wild West we call the internet is Ted.com. This is not a decision that I arrived at lightly and of course there was stiff competition from the Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York blog, my geeky nerdy safe haven at Dorkly and not to mention Beyoncé vs. Zombies and Buzfeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed! Within each crisis there is always a silver lining, there is always someone out there showing us the good in the human race and TedTalks give those people a platform to speak to us. One day I hope that someone will be me but until then I’ll sit tight and let myself be inspired by these people’s testimonies of greatness.
For your viewing pleasure I’ve compiled a list of my 10 favourite TedTalks ranging from topics in war photography and modern day slavery to creativity and the key to happiness.
Lisa Kristine: Photos that bear witness to modern slavery
James Nachtwey: My photographs bear witness
Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius
Monica Lewinsky: The price of shame
Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work
Andrew Tarvin: Humor at work
Iwan Baan: Ingenious homes in unexpected places
Andrew Solomon: Depression, the Secret We Share
Michael Neill: Why Aren’t We Awesomer?
Mark Henick: Why we choose suicide