By now I’m fairly sure that most of you out there don’t believe I do anything at work. That’s not true, I do a lot in the office, but my entire job requires me to be on the internet for long periods at a time, so therefore I find cool things. And ultimately I feel that its my required civic duty to share these cool things with you.
My coworker and I were chatting one morning about past college discussions and intellectual conversations in general which sparked us to listen to few different Ted talks while going about our regular tasks. I listened to Chef Jamie Oliver speak about his goal to bring food education to children in the US (and subsequently, all over the world) in order to reduce the fatal disease of obesity. Mr Bill Davenhall spoke of the concepts of geo-medicine and how where we’ve lived & travels ultimately affects our health. I heard the comical, yet heartfelt commencement speech that author JK Rowling made to Harvard graduates last year, and I finally caught up and listened to the talk by another fabulous writer – Elizabeth Gilbert.
I thoroughly enjoyed all of the talks, and found it interesting how they all tie into my dreams in some way or another. Obviously I have a huge passion for food & nutrition (you wouldn’t know with all my baking obsessions, but I truly love to cook), and so listening to Mr Oliver’s talk about how we must change our diets & educate younger generations really resonated with me. Also, a big part of me wanted to be a doctor for a really long time so the added health benefits of a proper diet definitely touched my, “I just wanna help people,” side. The only class in high school I truly enjoyed was my cooking class & the lessons that I learned during the fall semester of my Senior year definitely helped me stave off the dreaded, “Freshman 15,” once college rolled around.
Mr Davenhall’s quick chat on the concept of geo-medicine totally blew my mind. I’ve always believed that our environment is a huge factor in why people get sick, but it never really clicked that physicians should be asking patients about their environment. Maybe if they had they would have realized sooner that my Grandpa’s cancer was probably a result of working with Asbestos as a young man. Maybe treatments can be altered and more lives can be saved with this information…
Ms Rowling’s speech was a bit lengthy, but heartfelt and true. Though I felt she didn’t command the amount of attention from her audience that I thought she deserved (I mean, she was talking to Harvard kids about failure…) the talk resonated within my heart. Nobody wants to fail, and in fact, its something that I’m deathly afraid of. I’ve never been much of a risk taker, and as I grow older I find that I take even less risks because I don’t want to mar my wonderful bubble of comfort. It turns out that Ms Rowling had to fail miserably at a couple of things before she was exposed to the overwhelming success she has now. She reminded me to dust off the dreams that I shelved long ago, and I can admit that I’m starting to take a few more risks. Right now I’ve only gone as far as to order a different dish off the menu, but someday I’ll audition for that one song that I’ve wanted to sing for a very very very long time now. 😉
Last talk, and by far the most influential for me: Ms Gilbert invites all of us to think about nurturing creativity and creative genius. At 20 minutes, her talk was by far the lengthiest, but I found myself most engaged and moved by her topic of discussion. Ms Gilbert speaks of creative genius, and how the world has moved from reveling in creativity to a position of incredible skepticism towards creative minds. She talks of fearing the genius, the genius and its demons, the difference between being genius and having genius, and finally of letting genius find you. She closes her talk by reminding us that we should stop fretting about every small detail of our lives and realize that if we just, “show up,” that it will all miraculously fall into place.
I feel that I have had a love / hate relationship with creativity. I love being creative, and I live for being able to express myself through song, collage, words, canvas, and chocolate. At the same time, I fear the skeptics and being thought of as, “unstable,” simply because I choose to express myself in this manner. Its really difficult to fully express what I personally got out of that talk, but for anyone out there who believes they are (or are not) creative… you should set aside 20 minutes and listen what Ms Gilbert had to say.
Ole to you, and none the less.