Hali G Brown, Ted Talk, ALI discussed on TED Talks Daily

TED Talks Daily
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

I'm no stranger to anxieties and although I'm talking here about the power of emotions, I do know the power of emotions. I have discovered over time that emotions are not limitless, you know? They have a limit. There comes the moment, it's like a tipping point or a threshold when you get tired of feeling afraid. When you get tired of feeling anxious, and I think not only individuals, but perhaps nations too have their own tipping points. So even stronger than my emotions is my awareness that not only gender, not only identity, but life itself is fluid. They want to divide us into tribes, but we are connected across borders. They preach certainty, but we know that life has plenty of magic and plenty of ambiguity. And they like to incite dualities, but we are far more nuanced than that. So what can we do? I think we need to go back to the basics back to the colors of the alphabet. The Lebanese poet hali G brown used to say, I learned silence from the talkative and tolerance from the intolerant and kindness from the unkind. I think it's a great motto for our times. So from populist demagogues, we will learn the indispensability of democracy. And from isolationists, we will learn the need for global solidarity. And from tribalists, we will learn the beauty of cosmopolitanism and the beauty of diversity. As I finish, I want to leave you with one word or one taste. The word yurt in Turkish means motherland. It means homeland. But interestingly, the world also means a tent used by nomadic tribes. And I like that combination because it makes me think homelands do not need to be rooted in one place. Yeah, they can be portable. We can take them with us everywhere. And I think for writers, for storytellers, at the end of the day, there is one main homeland, and it's called story land. And the taste of that word is the taste of freedom. Thank you. All right, we are back with a leaf shafak to talk about her most recent book called the island of missing trees, Ali, thank you for doing this. Oh, thank you so much for having me. It's such a pleasure. In your TED Talk, you talked about resisting tribalism by embracing a diversity of perspectives. And so I'm curious for someone like you who's written a dozen novels now. What role do you think fiction plays in the kind of resistance that you're talking about? You know, I honestly think this is a moment in time in which we need books and storytelling, even more than ever before, because we're living in a world in which there's very low levels of empathy and very few nuanced conversations in many ways, I think the age we're living in feels like the age of anxiety. It's like an existential angst. And stories

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