To the organizers of the TED Talks

Dear TED,

When I watch your shows I feel like I’m on the hamster wheel of success. You’ve created these perfect banana chips of inspiration. My thirst for knowledge is quenched at your waterer full of wisdom. My self-doubt becomes the shredded newspaper at the bottom of my cage. I am happy, my cheeks are full of peanuts and optimism. The world seems so simple, challenges are surmountable. I am enthralled for rough 12-18 minutes and then inspired to make changes in my own life. “Ah hah!” I squeal, I just need to stand like superman for two minutes a day, look at pictures of baby animals, and play Scrabble with my mother in order to live 10 more years and have the confidence to live my dreams (the Scrabble is for the mental stimulation as well as fostering a healthy and consistent relationship with my Mom… also, I enjoy kicking her ass by 70 points by the second move). My point being, these talks are crack. I feel invincible, but once I hope off my hamster wheel of optimism I notice my legs have gone wobbly and I manage to chip my tooth on a kernel of corn. And that’s when I think “DAMN YOU TED! You’ve fooled me again you sly dog! The world isn’t solved in 15 minutes!”

Okay, so that’s not what you’re advocating. You’ve got people who have dedicated their lives to understanding something, who have had their own struggles, and then they get invited to tell everyone about it. If there was any theme it would be “the journey” and “believe in YOU.” And I gorge myself on that shit. I do. But then when I try to tell someone what I learned it is reduced a pathetically tiny hamster poo of understanding. “So they were saying people who Are dying regret things, and doing the opposite will make you happy and live longer… oh and look at baby pigs… and play more games.” Also, apparently being happy makes you better at everything…

I’m not saying this isn’t good stuff. It is. But I need a big chunk of inspiration. Don’t give me one chip, give me the whole damn banana. Give me more than I can chew so I can go back to it again and again. I need something that will fill me up long term, not just satisfy my hunger for a limited time. And how about a little fiber, eh TED? Not something that’s going to go right through me. I want that wisdom sticking in my gut for days. 

Love Lili

Ps. It’s still one of my goals to be good enough at something to be invited to speak so… just saying…


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