The lies our culture tells us about what matters — and a better way to live | David Brooks

The lies our culture tells us about what matters — and a better way to live | David Brooks

So, we all have bad seasons in life. And I had one in 2013. My marriage had just ended, and I was humiliated
by that failed commitment. My kids had left home for college
or were leaving. I grew up mostly
in the conservative movement, but conservatism had changed, so I lost a lot of those friends, too. And so what I did is,
I lived alone in an apartment, and I just worked. If you opened the kitchen drawers
where there should have been utensils, there were Post-it notes. If you opened the other drawers
where there should have been plates, I had envelopes. I had work friends, weekday friends,
but I didn’t have weekend friends. And so my weekends
were these long, howling silences. And I was lonely. And loneliness, unexpectedly,
came to me in the form of — it felt like fear,
a burning in my stomach. And it felt a little like drunkenness, just making bad decisions,
just fluidity, lack of solidity. And the painful part of that moment
was the awareness that the emptiness in my apartment
was just reflective of the emptiness in myself, and that I had fallen for some of the lies
that our culture tells us. The first lie is that
career success is fulfilling. I’ve had a fair bit of career success, and I’ve found that it helps me avoid
the shame I would feel if I felt myself a failure, but it hasn’t given me any positive good. The second lie is I can make myself happy, that if I just win one more victory, lose 15 pounds, do a little more yoga, I’ll get happy. And that’s the lie of self-sufficiency. But as anybody
on their deathbed will tell you, the things that make people happy
is the deep relationships of life, the losing of self-sufficiency. The third lie is the lie
of the meritocracy. The message of the meritocracy
is you are what you accomplish. The myth of the meritocracy
is you can earn dignity by attaching yourself
to prestigious brands. The emotion of the meritocracy
is conditional love, you can “earn” your way to love. The anthropology of the meritocracy
is you’re not a soul to be purified, you’re a set of skills to be maximized. And the evil of the meritocracy is that people who’ve achieved
a little more than others are actually worth
a little more than others. And so the wages of sin are sin. And my sins were the sins of omission– not reaching out,
failing to show up for my friends, evasion, avoiding conflict. And the weird thing was
that as I was falling into the valley — it was a valley of disconnection — a lot of other people
were doing that, too. And that’s sort of
the secret to my career; a lot of the things that happen to me are always happening
to a lot of other people. I’m a very average person
with above average communication skills. (Laughter) And so I was detached. And at the same time,
a lot of other people were detached and isolated and fragmented
from each other. Thirty-five percent of Americans
over 45 are chronically lonely. Only eight percent of Americans
report having meaningful conversation with their neighbors. Only 32 percent of Americans
say they trust their neighbors, and only 18 percent of millennials. The fastest-growing
political party is unaffiliated. The fastest-growing religious
movement is unaffiliated. Depression rates are rising,
mental health problems are rising. The suicide rate has risen
30 percent since 1999. For teen suicides
over the last several years, the suicide rate has risen by 70 percent. Forty-five thousand Americans
kill themselves every year; 72,000 die from opioid addictions; life expectancy is falling, not rising. So what I mean to tell you,
I flew out here to say that we have an economic crisis,
we have environmental crisis, we have a political crisis. We also have a social
and relational crisis; we’re in the valley. We’re fragmented from each other, we’ve got cascades of lies
coming out of Washington … We’re in the valley. And so I’ve spent the last five years — how do you get out of a valley? The Greeks used to say,
“You suffer your way to wisdom.” And from that dark period where I started,
I’ve had a few realizations. The first is, freedom sucks. Economic freedom is OK,
political freedom is great, social freedom sucks. The unrooted man is the adrift man. The unrooted man is the unremembered man,
because he’s uncommitted to things. Freedom is not an ocean
you want to swim in, it’s a river you want to get across, so you can commit and plant yourself
on the other side. The second thing I learned is that when you have
one of those bad moments in life, you can either be broken, or you can be broken open. And we all know people who are broken. They’ve endured some pain
or grief, they get smaller, they get angrier, resentful,
they lash out. As the saying is, “Pain that is not transformed
gets transmitted.” But other people are broken open. Suffering’s great power
is that it’s an interruption of life. It reminds you you’re not the person
you thought you were. The theologian Paul Tillich said what suffering does is it carves through
what you thought was the floor of the basement of your soul, and it carves through that,
revealing a cavity below, and it carves through that,
revealing a cavity below. You realize there are depths of yourself
you never anticipated, and only spiritual and relational food
will fill those depths. And when you get down there,
you get out of the head of the ego and you get into the heart, the desiring heart. The idea that what we really yearn for
is longing and love for another, the kind of thing that Louis de Bernières
described in his book, “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.” He had an old guy talking to his daughter about his relationship with his late wife, and the old guy says, “Love itself is whatever is leftover
when being in love is burned away. And this is both an art
and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it. We had roots that grew
towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms
had fallen from our branches, we discovered that we are
one tree and not two.” That’s what the heart yearns for. The second thing
you discover is your soul. Now, I don’t ask you to believe in God
or not believe in God, but I do ask you to believe
that there’s a piece of you that has no shape, size, color or weight, but that gives you
infinite dignity and value. Rich and successful people
don’t have more of this than less successful people. Slavery is wrong because
it’s an obliteration of another soul. Rape is not just an attack
on a bunch of physical molecules, it’s an attempt to insult
another person’s soul. And what the soul does
is it yearns for righteousness. The heart yearns for fusion with another,
the soul yearns for righteousness. And that led to my third realization,
which I borrowed from Einstein: “The problem you have
is not going to be solved at the level of consciousness
on which you created it. You have to expand
to a different level of consciousness.” So what do you do? Well, the first thing you do
is you throw yourself on your friends and you have deeper conversations
that you ever had before. But the second thing you do, you have to go out alone
into the wilderness. You go out into that place
where there’s nobody there to perform, and the ego has nothing to do,
and it crumbles, and only then are you capable
of being loved. I have a friend who said
that when her daughter was born, she realized that she loved her
more than evolution required. (Laughter) And I’ve always loved that. (Applause) Because it talks about the peace
that’s at the deep of ourself, our inexplicable care for one another. And when you touch that spot,
you’re ready to be rescued. The hard thing about
when you’re in the valley is that you can’t climb out; somebody has to reach in and pull you out. It happened to me. I got, luckily, invited over to a house
by a couple named Kathy and David, and they were — They had a kid in the DC
public school, his name’s Santi. Santi had a friend
who needed a place to stay because his mom had some health issues. And then that kid had a friend
and that kid had a friend. When I went to their house six years ago, I walk in the door, there’s like
25 around the kitchen table, a whole bunch sleeping
downstairs in the basement. I reach out to introduce myself to a kid, and he says, “We don’t really
shake hands here. We just hug here.” And I’m not the huggiest guy
on the face of the earth, but I’ve been going back to that home
every Thursday night when I’m in town, and just hugging all those kids. They demand intimacy. They demand that you behave in a way
where you’re showing all the way up. And they teach you a new way to live, which is the cure
for all the ills of our culture which is a way of direct —
really putting relationship first, not just as a word, but as a reality. And the beautiful thing is,
these communities are everywhere. I started something at the Aspen Institute
called “Weave: The Social Fabric.” This is our logo here. And we plop into a place and we find
weavers anywhere, everywhere. We find people like Asiaha Butler,
who grew up in — who lived in Chicago, in Englewood,
in a tough neighborhood. And she was about to move
because it was so dangerous, and she looked across the street
and she saw two little girls playing in an empty lot
with broken bottles, and she turned to her husband
and she said, “We’re not leaving. We’re not going to be just another family
that abandon that.” And she Googled “volunteer in Englewood,”
and now she runs R.A.G.E., the big community organization there. Some of these people
have had tough valleys. I met a woman named Sarah in Ohio
who came home from an antiquing trip and found that her husband
had killed himself and their two kids. She now runs a free pharmacy,
she volunteers in the community, she helps women cope
with violence, she teaches. She told me, “I grew from this
experience because I was angry. I was going to fight back against
what he tried to do to me by making a difference in the world. See, he didn’t kill me. My response to him is, ‘Whatever you meant to do to me,
screw you, you’re not going to do it.'” These weavers are not living
an individualistic life, they’re living a relationist life,
they have a different set of values. They have moral motivations. They have vocational certitude,
they have planted themselves down. I met a guy in Youngstown, Ohio, who just held up a sign
in the town square, “Defend Youngstown.” They have radical mutuality, and they are geniuses at relationship. There’s a woman named Mary Gordon who runs something
called Roots of Empathy. And what they do is they take
a bunch of kids, an eighth grade class, they put a mom and an infant, and then the students have to guess
what the infant is thinking, to teach empathy. There was one kid in a class
who was bigger than the rest because he’d been held back,
been through the foster care system, seen his mom get killed. And he wanted to hold the baby. And the mom was nervous
because he looked big and scary. But she let this kid,
Darren, hold the baby. He held it, and he was great with it. He gave the baby back and started
asking questions about parenthood. And his final question was, “If nobody has ever loved you,
do you think you can be a good father?” And so what Roots of Empathy does is they reach down and they grab
people out of the valley. And that’s what weavers are doing. Some of them switch jobs. Some of them stay in their same jobs. But one thing is,
they have an intensity to them. I read this — E.O. Wilson wrote a great book
called “Naturalist,” about his childhood. When he was seven,
his parents were divorcing. And they sent him
to Paradise Beach in North Florida. And he’d never seen the ocean before. And he’d never seen a jellyfish before. He wrote, “The creature was astonishing.
It existed beyond my imagination.” He was sitting on the dock one day and he saw a stingray
float beneath his feet. And at that moment, a naturalist was born
in the awe and wonder. And he makes this observation: that when you’re a child, you see animals at twice the size
as you do as an adult. And that has always impressed me, because what we want as kids
is that moral intensity, to be totally given ourselves
over to something and to find that level of vocation. And when you are around these weavers, they see other people
at twice the size as normal people. They see deeper into them. And what they see is joy. On the first mountain of our life,
when we’re shooting for our career, we shoot for happiness. And happiness is good,
it’s the expansion of self. You win a victory, you get a promotion,
your team wins the Super Bowl, you’re happy. Joy is not the expansion of self,
it’s the dissolving of self. It’s the moment when the skin barrier
disappears between a mother and her child, it’s the moment when a naturalist
feels just free in nature. It’s the moment where you’re so lost
in your work or a cause, you have totally self-forgotten. And joy is a better thing
to aim for than happiness. I collect passages of joy,
of people when they lose it. One of my favorite is from Zadie Smith. In 1999, she was in a London nightclub, looking for her friends,
wondering where her handbag was. And suddenly, as she writes, “… a rail-thin man with enormous eyes
reached across a sea of bodies for my hand. He kept asking me the same thing
over and over, ‘Are you feeling it?’ My ridiculous heels were killing me,
I was terrified that I might die, yet I felt simultaneously
overwhelmed with delight that ‘Can I Kick It?’
should happen to be playing on this precise moment
in the history of the world on the sound system, and it was now morphing
into ‘Teen Spirit.’ I took the man’s hand,
the top of my head blew away, we danced, we danced,
we gave ourselves up to joy.” And so what I’m trying to describe
is two different life mindsets. The first mountain mindset, which is about
individual happiness and career success. And it’s a good mindset,
I have nothing against it. But we’re in a national valley, because we don’t have
the other mindset to balance it. We no longer feel good
about ourselves as a people, we’ve lost our defining
faith in our future, we don’t see each other deeply,
we don’t treat each other as well. And we need a lot of changes. We need an economic change
and environmental change. But we also need a cultural
and relational revolution. We need to name the language
of a recovered society. And to me, the weavers
have found that language. My theory of social change
is that society changes when a small group of people
find a better way to live, and the rest of us copy them. And these weavers have found
a better way to live. And you don’t have to theorize about it. They are out there as community builders
all around the country. We just have to shift our lives a little, so we can say, “I’m a weaver,
we’re a weaver.” And if we do that, the hole inside ourselves gets filled, but more important,
the social unity gets repaired. Thank you very much. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “The lies our culture tells us about what matters — and a better way to live | David Brooks

  • A nice sum up of the issues, questionable solutions. Activism would not do a dam thing to undo the damages profit&status driven mass corporate economy inflicts on the social life and people. What's happening is people adjust themselves to tolerate or even like new norms of isolation and superficiality older people find to be terrifying. People are like rats adjusting to new environment. Once old timers are gone, everybody will be happy as a clam in his bubble on corporate life support

  • To be interdependent (vs codependent: unhealthy relationships, manipulative, deceptive, resentment, jeolousy, controlling, etc. what drives people away – to actually prefer the extreme opposite: being 100% alone) we first need to be emotionally independent. This comes from the simultaneous unconditional/spiritual freedom/sense of self & love/sense of unity with all

  • A cult taking advantage of lonely people. Religion does the same thing. If everyone is expected to hug than it's really meaningless.

  • Thank you, Mr Brooks, from Australia for that poignant message of hope.

    Australia has the same social malaise as the USA and your message is welcome here too.

    I note others considered the large boy’s question, about whether if, nobody has ever loved you, can you be a good father, as sad. Indeed, it made you cry. Then I realised that this boy had been powerfully moved by the infant he held for a while and in that moment he’d decided he wanted to be the best father he could. He just needed to know his best attempt could possibly be good enough. There you have it, the secret fear of all prospective, new and old parents; will we be, are we, and were we good enough parents?
    I hope this boy got the answer he needed “yes of course you can be a good father and if you didn’t learn how from your dad just remember there are plenty of people who can help by showing you how”.

  • Nobody I know who has career success, has anything that I want.
    It’s important to take advice from people who have things that you want.

  • I disagree.  All people do not need deep relationships and attachment to be happy.  People learn this need.  This is just another of the lies our culture tells us.  What's more, society tries to make it true.  Solitary happiness is intolerable and will be attacked.  It's not that pure selfishness is healthy, but self sufficiency is falsely being equated with selfishness.  In an individual this would be sick.  "If you don't need me, I'm afraid of you."

  • One hundred and twenty years ago, the majority of Americans lived on the farm. Now almost NO ONE lives on the farm, agriculture is gone and has been replaced by Agribusiness. Now the majority of people live in a plastic suburb and commuting 50 or 75 miles one way to work to do a job that produces NOTHING tangible, worthless paper shoving, although now they don't even use paper, it is all a blip on a computer screen. No wonder people are killing themselves at a record rate. BB

  • A meritocracy is not supposed to be a philosophy of life and the self for God sakes. This guy while well meaning has a completely liberal view in that the state is responsible for the good. It's so true that the things within one self leads to suffering. But if one ties his self worth TO SUCCESS and how much merit hes accomplished then he suffers.

  • I agree with David on most of his points but one point he made I "mostly" do not agree with; his point is that we need relationships be happy. Relationships to a large degree cause unhappiness. Making happiness dependent on someone else is not the way to find happiness, at least not in my life. Being alone and happy is the best way to live. In the beginning it's not easy to achieve happiness living alone but with practice it is possible. The first steps are to love yourself and find ways to be thankful, also do the thing/s that make you happy, and by all means be kind those around you who you come in contact with on the phone, stores, restaurants, etc.

  • Not the first idiot on the Internet, and certainly not the last … It is quite possible to not demand intimacy or company whilst not being in the least lonely. I have cut out after a few minutes …

  • The problem in America is that people are incredibly shallow and very individualist. Hello, Hi hot you ? Nice and you, and conversation over .when you come from Europe it is very disturbing how it is next to impossible to have decent conversation with American people. On top of it they pretty much know nothing about nothing and there is plenty of taboos, sexe , religion, politics., you have to avoid anything controversial or the conversation stops right away.

  • Sounds like some dude from total recall trying to convince me to socialize. I get it a bit if you grew up in family unit or had food freinds your hole life. But some of us are single children and need no such things well not as desperately as some others.

  • David Brooks, my politics are probably not aligned with yours to a great extent; however, I'd love to get to know you. It's no more complicated than that.

  • Sorry there is missing gaps in human complexity for the uses of GOOD words and great quotes but I disagree with his approach to some of his words like Soul and moral and love and suffering for he would not use the word GOD so you do not have a beginning of all things so you limit your connection to other and your self with knowing where it all stared and what happen after your body does not have breath. His feeling of disconnection is real his experience has been defined with the word anomie. 

    Anomie is condition of being in cities for it talk about lack of Normas and values so confusion exist and people do not like being Confusion in interaction with others and surrounding. With so much confusion cause by lawyers and government forcing people behavior that is irrational and normal person realizes it but goes long with it to conform to fit in but it make people weak. The increases feeling he talks about has been created by groups and lawyers or legal system has intensionally destroy traditions that people can relate to. 

    When education promote Self-esteem which is its your way or no way and create FEELING of not fitting in. Suffering is right for Buddha dealt with suffering with rituals to alter attachments where feeling do not hurt you physically and emotionally. 

    He has good points in suffering which is normal human condition but his solution is very weak given the levels of Anomie you have over come for without a process to change from emotional scars from events in ones life. You have the word soul, you have the word spirit and have the word morals then you have Qi which is God expressing his absolutions love for very life. If you do not know you are connected to forces great and your part of that limits one view points and emotional depth one can have. Being honest is learned and so is everything base on language. One use of language with emotions to each word from their attitude project there for there soul is affect, shape by what one does with works and physical movement of the body as expression of attitude.  

    It man that has to realize his challenge of free will and what does it mean to have free will where you create your reality. He bring it up but his definition does not have enough range to really change but it can make feel good for short time. When person spirit is damaged their expression of heart feeling through language cannot be realizes in attitude expressions . What does person has realize and do to bring back spirit focus rooted in the heart and mind realizes it new reality. The spirit is life and the soul is permanent and is effects by what one does with their spirit for spirit is Qi force which is life energy flow. Then how do you change ones moral values so judgement can be clear and you can have confidents to interact with judgement of the situation for there is evil in life and it will kill you. One should know limitation of others abilities base on their word for it the lie to get what they want you cannot trust in good way. Trust some one word is one of big loss in this culture for you have lawyers of confusion and lies that make truth enemy in the court.

    Define what one has to over come that hold them is down feeling to them self and other and life. Here are 3 words one has to over come to create positive reality in one life. 1. is self center ness and fear. 2. Sorrow is created when one loose a big emotional attachment like parents. sorrow is created in one heart for its a Black hole that drains energy into it and makes you physical weak. It is hole in ones heart and it is very hard to close and scar will very to how much energy goes into the hole. 3. is despair and over coming that emotional state for its not having energy to move and express one self. The opposite feeling that are positive in energy, body and state of mind in life expression. Understanding these word is complex and need understand to fit how do develop ones emotional reality. The first state a person has to develop as foundation for great feeling to life and be attached to life as express. 1. The development of calmness and being calm. That is a physical state where physical effects of stress is gone. 

    2 You build off of calmness to JOY. The word joy his as is weak to me and cannot be repeated for there is to much emotional excitement in his usage of joy not repeatable the way I see it.  

    3. is happiness that is very complex work for feel it is so many ways and differences in life. The word happy used today sells goods, services and thing. There are two types of happiness in SEE one is base on excitement like get a new car or house by that type of happiness pass and people have look for NEW experience in materialism. The second type is base on moments in time support by calmness, joy and now being happy to be alive for its NOT base on excitement but base on joy in what a person does for others and them self where they have confidences in what they do intentionally with good heart feelings.

    I have saying at time, Save me from good intensions. Don Quixote had good intensions but ask women who know better but felt she had to do what he ask for he has such great FEELING, intensions and heart but she paid for it. Good intension is nice feeling but what is that good intension going to produces.

    Suffering is composed of these three negatives and you have to move to 3 positive emotional state while you are being physical all day long how do make those transformation is challenging and its mindful directed physicals altering then the mind has to realize differences.

    There is lot more in how to realize suffering then change it so you are with your suffering but it is just a companion that it, Suffering does not rule person that is calm in life, joy is doing and happy to be. changing from negative to positive in dealing with situation is base on energy differences, abilities and being in energy state sensations. Have nice day.

  • I’m curious how many republicans care about anyone but themselves and the white only establishment.
    This administration has divided us. I have had to dismiss most of my neighbors due to the hate and fear that have started expressing. I’m not a democrat or republican. I’m independent and I’m alone in my Tennessee neighborhood. My neighbors are mean an racist. I don’t know if they were always that way.

  • I learned to stop identifying with things, religion or politics- I realized we are all human beings having our own unique earthly experience and to respect others journey whatever that may be. My focus is to be fully present with others, stop glorifying things and social media…and learn to see everything I can’t see by paying attention to the space between the things I can.


  • where you hear intrepiation in a voice the speaker has moved emotional mountains to share their truths, Thank you David Brooks

  • I think one of the reasons some people are depressed is becasue they are hyper-sentimental. They expect more emotional "comfort" than life is in fact capable of giving. This guy is a perfect example of that. He seems very emotionally "greedy" to me. He has a family, former wife, grown up kids, a successful career, yet somehow that's not enough. So what if he is divorced. Does he really expect a perfect life? Who on Earth has a perfect life? Now compare him to billions of people suffering in poverty, war, disease, and all forms of atrocities. I think modern 1st world people are emotionally greedy just like they are financially greedy. They already have everything, yet it's not enough, they want more, and when they can't have more, they get "depressed".

  • Mmm, nice, but they should have invited some weavers to TED, not a cognitive authority. It's like still rewarding the wrong thing and TED not having learned the lesson, Brooks gives to the world.

  • When I rise to power, those who disliked this will be castrated, their brains will be studied to save societies from psychopaths. SMH

  • I appreciate the fact that you tried to squeeze a life long message in 15 minutes.
    There is so much that needs to be opened up in every 5 seconds of your speech.
    Thank you sir for delivering the message for better humanity.

  • This TED talk should complement Demolition, a movie about unconventional path to reach the true joy after hitting the rock bottom.

  • As I say to a lot of men, start somewhere…adopting an animal is a good beginning, but volunteer in a shelter it is better one, specially (the majority of people that volunteer are older women).
    Volunteer in a school of children different than you, it will also be a good lesson. It will teach you that you are different, but at the same time you are so similar.
    It is nice to talk, but what a lot of men do not do is the little things that we women do all the time which is weaving relationships.
    We do not classify relationship like men as this one is important and will give me something. We give everybody the same value because each person, even the guy standing in the corner deserves to be looked in his eyes.
    I know you have a new relationship with somebody young and beautiful and there is a tendency that she will be the one who will keep your relationships alive, and you will became the old self working, working, working.
    I did that for my ex-husband, and I regret it because I compensated so much for him that his relationship with his children is timid. I was the connector. I should have demanded him to take care of the babies, and then the teens and now the college kids because I as a woman believed his career was more important that the family or the kids.
    I understand your wife more than you can imagine because I was a single mom in a marriage with an “important person..,”
    So, while an eloquent talk, and you have that gift. It will be valuable not to look at us, the empathic, and relationship weavers (I can talk with a wall if I need) but to your group that has stopped getting amazed by people: older important men (whatever you define important).
    You want to stop the problem of loneliness. It is very simple: Be profoundly interested in people, and when I say profoundly interested in people it means that you go outside to any street in NYC and look with interest to everybody and be curious, deeply curious about people. It is simple. You have to take yourself out of your self importance and and observe, and engage, and ask questions and care.
    Do that exercise, everyday for a month, and maybe you will learn that relationship is an action, and that require practice and dedication, and a big quote of humbleness.
    Good luck,

  • And the other thing why men are not doing well in relationships is that they have never learned as children to play tea, something that little girls practice all the time.
    You learn to take turns, to be polite, to serve tea, to ask question, to look at the girl in the eyes, to remember useless information the other girl tells you, to listen, to laugh at her jokes, to be polite, to engage, to play the game because the prize, and that is the important thing is to learn to be close, and to be close is OK.

  • Personally i am experience that kind of valley. Career success doesn’t add to the happiness or joy. We human being should be committed to deeper commitment. Freedom is a river to be planes to crossed.

  • Beautiful man, beautiful message! David Brooks, I sincerely hope that you come and read this and remember for the next time that we're all on your side buddy!!

  • I had been watching a number of Ted talks and I went to bed marveling at how all of the speakers were so amazing – how did they do this? They aren't even using any notes! Then the first talk I look at this morning is this one. He's nervous. He has notes. He talks too fast sometimes. But what he said was just as a marvelous as the others (even more so than some). Thank you David Brooks for giving us this, even though it was so hard for you. I love you for that.

  • poor communicator, monotonous tones, fast speach and no engagement, his delivery is very boring and he's stuttering, shaking voice, if this is advance communication skills I wouldn't like to see poor communication skills, unfortunately I cannot listen to anymore.

  • 10:46 I cried, I was that little boy 😥 I am a mother of 4 now and I may not be perfect but I do know that my kids have it a whole lot better than I did. Going through like being rejected by your parents teaches you just how valuable a child is. I have so much love for my babies but I remember a time when I wasn't sure if I was able to be a good paren.

  • That is the result of society people that have abandon God, a relationship with God bring meaning to life and true love to your heart and to love your neighbors….

  • Didn’t we have at one time the community and relationships with others that he is talking about? I think we did. I am from a place and time where we didn’t lock our doors. We knew all of our neighbors. We were friends with a lot of them. So David are you saying make America great again?

  • Why do marriages and relationships fail? How come this new car or new divan didn't make me happy? Why didn't God answer my prayers? How come nothing works right even when we've followed the "rules"? The reason is that most, if not all, that we were taught are lies. Not all of them are intentional lies. Others taught us what they sincerely believed is true. We were taught to believe, and assumed that was all we need do. Believe–Be lie–beLIEve.

    Relationships between men and women fail, or are tenuous, is that on a psychological basis, men and women are incompatible. Which "god" did you pray to? It's either the wrong god, or the God we were taught about doesn't exist. The world religions were created by the Earthly powers for the purpose of controlling us. Maybe things don't work BECAUSE we followed the rules.

    Are we first, physical bodies with a bit of spirit or soul? Do we go to Paradise to be with Jesus, when we "die"? At one time, I believed this BS. Or are we sentenced to several more incarnations? Instead, are we immortal spiritual beings having experiences in physical bodies?

  • It is my observation that two things in this life break a person- lack of love and lack of money.

    Buddha was right- life IS suffering. We all just gotta find that one thing that still manages to take our breath away, and bask in the rare gift it is to be Human and able to be breathtaken.

  • Loved this talk. Sometimes with TED talks you can tell that they are rehearsed to death and just waiting for the standing ovation.

  • You all need some Latinos in your life. We will hug you, feed you and ask you about your day without even knowing you.
    It really is a cultural thing sometimes. It's so cold and lonely in the states sometimes… a lot of times. People get freaked out if I treat them the same way I would treat people back home.
    Over here if you try to help an old lady put her groceries in her car she thinks you are hing to steal from her. Here if you hug a guy hello and good bye he thinks you have a crush on him. Heck, even if you go volunteer at a place more than twice people start to treat you like if you were being paid to be there and start giving you … poo.
    I invite all of those who can to travel and experience other cultures because this guy is right.

  • @ 11:10 …BOOK …reference:

    – " Naturalist " …by E.O. Wilson ( Author )


  • "Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two."


  • What a beautiful man… I hope more people could take a second to listen to what he has to say, so much truth and honesty to explain the social and cultural black hole we are living in.

  • I honestly don't understand what is wrong with meritocracy. Isn't that better than people receiving power and privilege solely based on family? Could someone explain?

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