The Weekend Read - 3 Ted Talks that I listened to, for my kid

Child Education is an important topic. However often we don't pay enough attention to this. While listening to these 3 enriching Ted Talks, realized how do we often fail to equip the children for their future.

Optimism vs Realism

Though we may not realize, but human beings are generally optimistic in nature. As Tali explains in this thought provoking talk, we are mostly optimistic that our financial status would improve in future. We are optimistic that our children would be the special ones. But there is a caveat. We are generally not so optimistic about others. A quick poll in your lunch table can reveal this - ask a group of 10+ people to raise their hands if the individual believes he is at top 25% in getting along with others. And you would get more than 25% hands up for sure. The other poll can be to check with your friends in smoking area. Most of them believe that the statutory warning of cancer on cigarette packet is true, but that is going to affect the other guy. The takeaway for me from this talk of Tali Sharot was this - teach your children to be positive about life, but make them aware that we are all living with an optimism bias. Having knowledge of the bias might just save them at the right moment in life. 


My daughter would be ready to join an employment around the year of 2032, and she would be at her retirement age (if such concept remains till that time) in 2071. How should I plan her education in 2014, so that she is equipped rightly to deal with the new world at her employment age, while I don't even know how the world would be in next 5 years? Instilling creativity is an way for it as deliberated by Sir Ken Robinson in this Ted Talk. As told by him, our education system is biased towards creating educationists. While listening to him, I recalled that the toppers in my Engineering school had joined back academics after a brief stint in industry. Guess that is not a mere coincidence. But as you might realize, education is not the biggest employment generator in this world. So how do we plan the education and make our children ready for the new world? Not an easy answer, but you might like to listen to the Talk to start thinking on this line.


We spend most of our daytime in earning our daily breads, which is not bad as finally at the end of the day, you need the bread to see tomorrow. However we also talk about serious issues like the perils of deforestation during our casual and not-so-casual chats, and discuss how we are running short of greenery everyday. Here is a man, Sebastião Salgado, who has planted more than 2 million trees in his own farmhouse in a few years of time. Sebastião is better known for his astounding photographs, capturing the human species in various challenging & primitive conditions (here). In this Ted Talk, he talks about the rainforest he brought back in, in his own farmhouse. There are few very basic science that we are taught in our childhood - that its only plants who can convert Carbon dioxide to Oxygen. However with age, we start forgetting that and get oblivious to this. After watching this Ted Talk, you might like to plant a few saplings, if not millions like Sebastião, to make this world a bit more greener one. This would not only save you, but will also leave a better world for your & others children.

Sebastião Salgado classic of India:

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