[tries to crowd surf at a TED talk]
A story of an Anthropologist turned mad scientist. Please, have a seat.
Jonathan, 55: There is no such thing as “the only one”. You will meet lots of “the ones”. Only commit when the timing is right for the both of you – that can take years for some, and that’s okay.
Miranda, 24: Drop pre-med.
Isaac, 48: Deodorant does not count as a shower, and that haircut only looked good on Bon Jovi.
Anya, 42: Make the conscious decision to be happy, and then stick with it. Society will do everything in its power to convince you that your personal happiness is dependent on something external – beauty, success, wealth, etc. – it isn’t.
Parker, 55: 60% of the things you think are important now won’t matter a whit to you by the time you reach 50. The trick is to figure out the important 40% and work it.
Megan, 34: He doesn’t love you, and you will be okay.
Peter, 58: Don’t let anything stand in your way of taking part (or all) of your junior year abroad. You’ll never again have quite the same opportunity to experience a foreign land, for an extended period of time, in your youth. It is destined to be one of the most memorable aspects of your life.
Eleanor, 67: Talk less. Listen more.
Donald, 27: There’s a huge difference between who you want to be and who everyone around you wants you to be. Figure out which is which.
Camille, 56: Always remember: when falling off a horse, pull your tongue in.
Jackson, 57: No one knows anything for sure. They’re all just doing the best they can with what they have, just like you.
Vicki, 47: You’ll never have all the answers, so make every question count.
Donald, 38: You don’t have to grow up to be the dad you never had.
Katelyn, 30: Make the most out of college. You will never again be at a place where your only goal is to learn. Learn a lot, learn often, and learn with reckless abandon.
Joshua, 55: Women love to laugh.
Annabelle, 38: Drugs are not beautiful, glamorous or opulent. They are not a remedy, a solution, a cure-all, or a cure-anything.
Colin, 50: You miss so much life when you sleep until 3 PM. Wake up to see sunrises; they are the most stunning of nature’s masterpieces.
Eleanor, 26: Eating two pints of ice cream won’t make you happy. Neither will sprinting 10 miles. Be nice to yourself.
Aaron, 52: Don’t forget to ask that girl in the Oberlin library what kind of perfume she’s wearing. You’ll buy it for her in 20 years.
Scarlett, 54: Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Those that get you will love you, those that don’t, well, their loss. Just remember: Wherever you are, it’s a party.
Zack, 9: I hope you’re awesome. And be nice to girls.
subbed with caramel ice cream.
Knowledge has a point when we start to find and make connections, to weave stories out of it, stories through which we make sense of the world and our place within it. It is the difference between memorising the bus timetable for a city you will never visit, and using that timetable to explore a city in which you have just arrived. When we follow the connections – when we allow the experience of knowing to take us somewhere, accepting the risk that we will be changed along the way – knowledge can give rise to meaning. And if there is an antidote to boredom, it is not information but meaning.
There is a connection, though, between the two. Information is perhaps the rawest material in the process out of which we arrive at meaning: an undifferentiated stream of sense and nonsense in which we go fishing for facts. But the journey from information to meaning involves more than simply filtering the signal from the noise. It is an alchemical transformation, always surprising. It takes skill, time and effort, practice and patience. No matter how experienced we become, success cannot be guaranteed. In most human societies, there have been specialists in this skill, yet it can never be the monopoly of experts, for it is also a very basic, deeply human activity, essential to our survival. If boredom has become a sickness in modern societies, this is because the knack of finding meaning is harder to come by.
khafeh khoon behgeer
Literal translation: suffocate yourself until you bleed.
*warning: use only in times of great urgency and if the person you’re addressing is a being a severe dumbass.