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Pure Joy


This is Ted Radio Hour each week. Groundbreaking Ted talks are dream. Big delivered at Ted Conferences to bring about the future. We want to see around the world to understand who we are from those talks. We bring you speakers and ideas. That will surprise. You just don't know what you're GonNa Find Challenge. You have the acts ourselves like why's it no worthy and even change you. I literally feel like I'm indifferent. I do you feel that way ideas worth spreading from ted NPR. I'm Newsom Maroney and on the show today. Pure Joy Ted talks that sparked the most pleasure delight and frankly relief from thinking about cove. Nineteen for this woman. My Name Is Helen. Walters and I am the head of curation at Ted. Helen has handpicked a selection of Ted Speakers for you. Some of them have been on the show before but others. You'll be hearing about for the first time. All of them will surprise inspire. And maybe even soothe you because as we spend our days muddling through this tough period lots of US might be feeling discouraged depleted. So let's take a break from the all consuming headlines and treat ourselves to some more therapeutic ideas and emotions and let's begin by getting to know Ted's lovely an incredibly sharp Helen Walters and understanding her criteria for joy. Okay so Helen I am coming to you from what I call my Harry Potter closet. It's remember in the first book where he lives underneath the staircase. Because that's the only place they would let him live. It's the only place where I can get some peace and quiet so you will likely hear people stopping above me as they walk up the stairs. What about you where Moosh? I'm pretty equally as glamorous. I am coming from my bedroom where I'm sitting on the floor. Not entirely sure why. I'm sitting on the floor but I am sitting on the floor and could easily be the delicate part of some thumping galumph thing five year old feet coming coming our way any minute. Now we're making the best of a very cozy situation for all of us and we've got a pretty good that we have the ability to talk to each other so let's get to it indeed so the team and I were kind of talking about what you do and like the head of curation. What does that mean? And one of the producers was like. She's like the ano-win tour of Ted. You know that is like kind of puts it exactly right. You are you you are. It's your the taste makers how I think of you. But can you just describe what your job actually entails? I see I thought you were going to say. I'm a super stylish. Well that too thank you thank you thank you. I appreciate that more so yeah I'm not really. I really my name and Anna. Wintour name not often mentioned in the same sentence birthday. That is exciting. So I have the just immensely huge responsibility and privilege of getting to work with the curator's at Ted to put together all programs together. We all kind of You know conspirine concoct these conferences of the world's most interesting people. So it's pretty amazing. I I think the first time we met though wasn't I was thinking about it. I was like I think the whole reason why I'm now host of the Ted Radio Hour actually goes back t you helen. Because I think you were the person who nominated me to give a talk in two thousand seventeen right. I mean I. How embarrassing actually. No Shoe No. So he I mean. Here's the reality is. I've been obsessed with you for many years particularly and I don't know if I've ever actually told you this when I had my son in. Twenty fifteen and I was home with him as one tends to do and one has a baby and I have no brain and didn't really don't to do with myself and you on NPR and you were my friend and then when it came to ted in two thousand seventeen enosis up well what about what about my best friend and luckily all right what we asked you to do for this episode. I'm blushing by the way I have to get over the fact that like you said. I was your friend even from the radio. Oh my God okay. I have to get over myself as friend you yes correct. Bff We asked you and you very generously complied. We said you know. In these strange times of Corona virus and uncertainty. We needs more joy in our lives. Helen as chief curator. Could you pick? Could you curate? A selection of talks that have brought you joy and that doesn't have to be happiness because I think that's a different sentiment. I feel very strongly that joy is different than happy. Joy To me is like a just a nugget of humanity and delight and deliciousness. That that you're alive does that. What is it to you? I was trying to think about joy in different ways. Because as you know as you rightly say like the kind of the hilarity factor and the warmth and just like that was great. I just thoroughly enjoyed fat. And then this other people you know as you'll see like some of these toxins not exactly you would immediately put into the joyful camp but for me. The person just exemplifies a spirit that I aspired you know I just want to be more like those people I just. I just think the world is a better place for having them in it and that brings me joy. So yeah some of it's going to be tangential but I swear these ones Auburn. Yeah I think that's a really good preamble actually listeners. You are going to be surprised by some of these choices. Okay so let's start. Let's start with Simone. Yuck tell us about Simone and her talk which is about why we should make useless things. I mean who doesn't WanNa make useless things right. She I make them daily but Simone celebrates that and I really appreciate and respect that. She's awesome as she puts it in the talk. She is the Queen of useless robots. And she she just has this way of approaching life and the world and objects product. She's making you think. And she's making loft and she's charming everybody along the way. I do a lot of things like this. I see a problem. I invent some sort of solution to it for example brushing your teeth. Like it's this thing we all have to do. It's kind of boring and nobody really likes it. So what about if you had a machine that could do it for you do moment in her? Ted Talk where she actually described her toothbrush helmet. I call it the toothbrush helmet. Do you remember that. How could I not remember a toothbrush helmet? It's a helmet and it has a toothbrush attached to it. And then basically the idea of the toothbrush helmet is that it cleans your teeth for you. You just have to kind of smile and then the toothbrush merrily brush your teeth. And it doesn't work very well. Did we mention that? They useless robots because it really is. It's not practical. Helmet is recommended by zero out of ten dentists and it definitely did not revolutionize the world of dentistry but it did completely change my life because I finished making this two three years ago and after finish making it. I filmed a seven second clip of it working by now. This is a pretty standard modern day fairy tale of girl posting on the Internet thousands of men voyage into the comment sections to ask for her hand in marriage she ignores all of them starts to youtube channel and keeps on building robots since then. I've carved at this little niece for myself on the Internet as an inventor of useless machines because as we all know the easiest way to be at the top of your field to choose a very small field right I love that Yes yes I think. That's what I felt about podcasts. To begin with not anymore but that is what I felt about broadcasts so the other thing that's really worth mentioning is that Simone suffers from extreme performance anxiety. And it's actually was in some ways. The reason why she got into making these useless robots because as a teenager she was such a perfectionist and so scared of failing that she almost went in the opposite she did a one eighty and only started making things that had no purpose and that like the kind of the point was to watch them fail because it was so kind of entertaining and freeing for her right. That's why she wanted to excel at failing so I have to ask like was she terrified about giving the talk where you there. I was that I didn't what with us. Oh closely but I I got to hang out with a little bit. And she's she's just chumming and she's actually. She is a perfectionist. She really wanted to make sure that everything worked. She did a number of demos on the stage for us which were amazing So unexpected I think people didn't really know what was happening right at the beginning of the talk. She she comes on and she was talking about how the advice that people give you on your public. Speaking to imagine everybody in front of you has no clothes on and she said that's really weird in a time of me to really don't want to be doing that kind of thing. We should probably back away from using that as any kind of advice. And then she had made herself jacket with googly eyes on it. It took me fourteen hours. And Two hundred twenty seven googly eyes to make this shirt and being able to look at you as much as you're looking at me. It's actually only half of the reason I made this. The other half is being able to do this. Conical like a number of heads kind of tilting to one side as people like wait. What and who is this? What is happening right now and I love that seeing a speaker who's really good. And she just had the audience in the palm of her hand and she knows it. But there's just that split second people aren't quite sure and she just and then she just took it from the rat with it she. Simone was actually on the Ted Radio Hour before my time. And she said that her motto is if I find it interesting then there are probably other people who will find interesting to been thinking a lot about that but I also think especially in this time where a lot of people are home more than they ever have been probably in the year combined and have extra time on their hands which you know can be a gift like I also am now really trying to into the idea of like. I don't care if anybody else finds it interesting if I find it interesting. I am going to pick up needlepoint and I'm thinking about embroidering. A single germ of the corona virus. Just feel like I need to empower like I have some control over something with this whole thing. That's really weird idea that did not plan on sharing with you at all. But there's no use for that but the point is you don't need to if I find it useful in calming me or giving me an artistic outlet or giving me so enjoy. Then that's okay. That's what I learned from. Simone what would have? I think that's really well said. I think that's absolutely right. And I think she reminds us all to just give it a go you know. Just give it a try and it's not going to be good probably and that's okay. It doesn't actually matter but it's the doing and it's the trying and it's the messing up and it's the you know not being kind of down caused by that but being delighted by that like it's a real mind shift. I think for a lot of people who are nervous about taking a step into the unknown. Be New at something again. I think that it's the most important thing that you can do for yourself and your own kind of satisfaction to keeping rubbish and the only way is up right. That's right. Set the bar so low. You can't feel exactly it's this expression of joy and humility. That often gets lost in engineering to me. There's the true beauty of making useless things because it's this acknowledgement that you don't always know what the best answer is. And it turns off that voice in your head that tells you that you know exactly how the world works and maybe a toothbrush helmet isn't the answer but at least you're asking the question. Thank you more ideas. That spark joy with Helen. Walters in just a minute. I'M MINUTIA SUMMAR ODI and you're listening to the Ted Radio Hour from NPR. Stay WITH US. Everyone just a quick thanks to two of our sponsors who help make this podcast possible. I Kohler attaching directly to your toilet using basic household tools a colour day seat offer adjustable features ranging from warm water cleansing and warm air dryer to a heated seat. You'll also enjoy automatic air freshening and ambient nighttime light colour invites you to visit colour dot com slash day. B I D E T enter colours thirty checkout to save thirty percent on in Stock Padilla in the United States but people as a whole have less access to health care to education and job opportunities can lose but who do we even mean what we say black people who counts as black. It's a question. This country has been trying to answer the very beginning. Listen on NPR's codes which podcast it's the Ted Radio hour from NPR. I'm a new summer Odi on the show today. We go behind the scenes with Ted Curator Helen Walters and her pick of talks that over the years have brought her the most joy. This actually is someone who makes things He doesn't invent them but I would say that he reinvents them. It's about music which I think we can universally agree people joy but we don't usually analyze why music is so joyful and in fact just the thought of saying we'll to analyze why music is so joyful like kind of stamps. The joy out of a across theory way to crush. Thanks but the person you chose is the conductor Benjamin Zander and he makes us understand the transformative power of classical music. Are you a classical music fan? Helen is that why you decided to share this talk so I am a classical music lover even while I know nothing about it but it does bring me great joy. Classical music is for everybody because you know my profession. The music profession doesn't see it that way they say. Three percent of the population likes classical music. If only we could move to four percent our problems would be I say. How would you walk? How would you talk? How would you be if you thought everybody loves classical music? They just haven't found out about it kind of the perfect perfectly exemplifies. Let half glass full. He'd just everything is an opportunity. And I think it's really heartening and reassuring and inspiring not in a goofy way but just like how cool is that? I WanNa live my life like that totally I think one of my favorite parts of his talk is where he goes through and he plays the piano as a child at different stages or want to remind you of what a seven year old child sounds like when he plays the piano. Maybe you have this child at home. He sounds something like this. I see some of you recognize child. Now he's ten at that point they usually give up. If you'd waited for one more year you would have heard this now. What happened was not. Maybe what you thought. Which is he suddenly became passionate engaged. Involved what actually happened was the impulses were reduced. You see the first time. He was playing with an impulse on every note ten-year-old on every eight notes and the eleven year old. One impulse on the whole phrase. I do know got into this position. I didn't say I'm going to move my shoulder over. Move my body. No the music pushed me over. Which is why I call it. One plane can be the other bus. What did Happen Helen? I mean we've all I've been that child. I've also heard that many children trucking along playing music like that But what he says is that something happens with age that it stops being about one note after the other and it becomes about musical phrasing but it's also about taking the long view at the risk of making a metaphor for life. I think I think that's what he's saying. How do you how do you explain it? It's not that practice makes perfect but it's like it becomes less Abou- reading the music and suddenly thinking about that whole piece in the whole way that you can express what the composer was trying to kind of put down on paper when they wrote that piece we we were just in South Africa and you can't go to South Africa without thinking of Mandela in jail for twenty seven years. What was he thinking about lunch? No he was thinking about the fishing for South Africa and for human beings. That's what this is about vision. This is about the long line like the bird who flies over the field and doesn't care about the fences underneath how to put this together until until you did this. You're good at this time but like visit connection to Simone here of like you know you've gotta try things you've got to do things with this do them and you have to keep doing them. And I you know every musician I know they have to practice every day. There's no it's not like you get there and then you're done it's all good. It's let you go to keep going. But this is something about that practice and that just ability to transcend. What's on paper? Make something just truly beautiful for me that. That description is particularly helpful. Right now right. I think a lot of us Can feel overwhelmed if we think about. How am I gonNA get through tomorrow? How am I gonNA get through What what's next week even going to be like and so it helps to think Bigger in some ways about the idea of family or idea of creativity and sort of not get bogged down in the details and I also think on another note of course. Music is a wonderful way to manage your feelings to cope to escape. Yup I think there's nothing wrong with a bit of escapism. Right now and you know the one thing that gives me hope and heart and you know it would be so easy to skip into bleakness over what's happening in the world right now but what. I look at is the way that people are responding and the heart and the care that people bringing to the community in and we talk about this is a team internally like you know people scared and people are worried and worried about all sorts of things in all sorts of ways and all of those visit valid. And so there's nothing to be done like there's no kind of no words that go into dispel those fears but one thing. I see the Komo. Is The community truly stepping up to support a see elderly neighbors who are being cared for by people who are bringing them food and I see people who are sharing things in a sanitary way of course but you know people are looking out for each other and I think that that is really amazing and have kind of a bigger picture of what is it. Pretty Don dot time. It does make me wonder if we're going to somehow redefine success for ourselves personally after this corona chapter as it were and I I had to listen. Go back and listen to it. Twice was when Benjamin Zander says in his talk. He's been conducting for twenty years and he suddenly had this realization that as a conductor like he doesn't make a sound he depends for his power on his ability to make other people powerful. I realized my job was to awaken possibility in other people and he said you know. How would he know if he was doing it? You look at that is would look in their eyes and if their eyes were shining he knew he was doing it. If the eyes are not China you get to ask a question and this is the question who am I being? Who Am I being that? My players eyes are not shining and he says that that is how he has defined success for himself for the last thirty five years that it's it's not about wealth and fame and power. It's about the shining is. I think it's beautiful. I mean I think it's one of the reasons that this talk has stayed with me since I think two thousand eight that he gave it right and I think that it's not about what they're doing wrong. It's about what you can do better. I decided that like I can't be the most amazing parent every hour of the day especially now but if I can get. My kids is to shine once a day. That's the win for me. That's GonNa take you at one point one shining either time all right. I want to move forward to your third pick. that this is more of a quintessential Ted Speaker. A person who wants to change the world make it a better place usually phrases that make me squirm a little bit but Andrew Speaker. You chose is the real deal. How can you tell us about him and the kind of work that he does? So Andrew is a social entrepreneur. He works in Rwanda mainly but across sub Saharan Africa and he runs a nonprofit called the one acre fund which is about basically training and Providing subsistence farmers with the tools and the techniques. They need in order to survive and thrive. I run a profit organization and I also live in the field whereas operations every day. So let me show a little bit of light on how nonprofits help us to achieve a better world. The first thing we do is to buy professional agricultural seed from local companies next a tiny micro dose of conventional fertilizer is required to nourish each plant to its full potential. We purchased life improving goods with the aggregated power of hundreds of thousands of families and store them in thirty warehouses. Like this. Then we get it out to where people live. We then follow up in the field. Every two weeks with training and in farmers pay back our services a little bit over time in fact farmer payments cover the majority of our expenses. That's why it costs US less than thirty dollars to serve a family for a year when humanity puts its money where its mouth is when we put real resources into social. Change anything possible. It's weird to me. How real he is he just is goodness exemplified and everything about what he does and what he stands for in the way that he does it just brings me great joy so Andrew Actually has been rather successful in his endeavors to solve some of the least joyful problems. The world has poverty hunger and it's kind of an interesting story his relationship with actually Ted. Can you tell us about his work specifically so he's got a couple of Ted talks at this point and he is one of the first recipients of funding from the audacious project. Which is this really cool kind of crazy project that Ted runs on the side. And there's this diculeng ulysses small team that basically seeks submissions and then vets these projects and gets gets entrepreneurs to dream of what they could do if they didn't have to worry about trying to raise funding and Andrew he just he has this moral fortitude and strength. And you just you believe him. You know you just you just feel better knowing that there are people I Andrew in the world who are devoting their entire lives to trying to fix a problem that most people just throw their hands at and say that's big couldn't possibly do anything about that will. Maybe I'll give you one hundred dollars at Christmas or I'll do something in some way and I'll try and feel better about it. Think about it because it's too difficult having people I Andrew in the world. Who's the slide so outraged that we are not fixing this and so smart that he has a really just he has a plan. Yep Yep and it's a good one and it's working. I've only been doing this work for about one decade but I have at least three more decades to give to this fight. How incredible it is. What an powerful gifted is relatively early career that you can dream this gift. Us totally transformed with my organization believes is possible three years we've roughly tripled in size and looking forward to the next three years. We have to rescale the graph by two thousand twenty. We will have grown six-fold in total size. We will directly serve one million two hundred fifty thousand families per year with more than five million children living in those families. This is the power of major philanthropy. This really works and he presents the plan on the stage to the point where you know. Let's be honest. There are a lot of people with a lot of wealth in that audience. Who Give the money. So that he can get the funding from the audacious project that goodness and that explanation of the problem but also the way that he describes his own professional trajectory is so moving he is so pumped about the next several decades to come and what he will be able to do. And I was like this guy's on like in his own mild mannered Wayne. His like you know Khaki Pants he's he's on fire. It is wonderful way and like you said it's like Oh Andrew. I'm just so glad you're here. You know so bad. He's just this combination of just mild mannered kind generous and then do not get in his way. He will mess you up. I just I would never want to say no. Because he's going to. He's going to do this work and he is going to save you. Know he's GonNa he's GonNa change the world so I do have to ask the what do you think the rest of US can learn from Andrew? Yoon because I think listening to him like it is easy to feel like a garbage person. Watches talked like there's no way I will ever be as good a person. So what's the lesson? Dav that's what we maybe. Maybe that's just the lesson is just where all rubbish Andrew is the best. Oh alternatively you know I don't know maybe we could all think about the ways we can help. I don't even know if it has to be like that. I really for me. The joy is I'm not giving up on it. How love it all right? This next one is actually one of my favorite talks because it speaks to all my insecurities Tim Urban How do you describe who tim? Urban is and what he does so to writes a blog. It's not really a blog but it's called wait but why and he basically unpacked and dives into the things that you'd never knew that you needed someone to dive into an unpacked. And then he does it in this room most ridiculous charming way where he will illustrate these often. Extremely complex ideas with stick figures just said that the mortals among us can keep up and yes he is just a restlessly curious individual who makes the world a better place for all of us a couple of years ago. I decided to write about. Procrastination behaviors. Always perplexed the non procrastinators around me and I wanted to explain to the non Krasny of the world. What goes on in the heads of procrastinators and why we are the where we are now at hypothesis that the brains of procrastinators were actually different than the brains of other people. And test. This I found an emory that she let me scan both my brain and the brain of a proven non procrastinator. And I I could compare them and I actually brought them here to show you today and I want you to take a look carefully to see if you can notice a difference and I know that if you're not trained brain expert not that obvious but just take a look okay. So here's the brain of a non procrastinator at this point. Tim Reveals drawing stick. Figure the so called rational decision maker looking confident behind the of a non procrastinators brain. Now here's my brain then. He reveals a line drawing a monkey. The instinct gratification. There is a difference. Both brains have a rational decision maker in them. Put The procrastinators brain also has an instant gratification monkey. Now what does this mean for the procrastinator? Well the rational decision maker will make the rational decision to do something productive but the monkey doesn't like that plan so he takes the wheel and he says. Actually let's read the entire wikipedia page of the Nancy Kerrigan. Tonya harding scandal. 'cause I just remember that that happened. Talk is called the mind of a master procrastinator. So did you approach Tim. Do you remember how the whole thing went down in terms of like and I feel like I should also ask you to explain like what the process of writing at Ted talk entails and why Tim did so badly at it. The first time I came across the was when he came in for rehearsals so it was have rehearsals before a conference and Tim came in and he gave the talk and started. Well I have to give it to him. Started strong and then I'd say about forty percent into the toolkit began to head south fairly quickly. It was. We were watching the implosion of a human being just in front of us really as he just began to kind of stamina and slightly panic on st the panic and he kind of became a bit manic. Was this awkward and kind of Hilarious and awful. So he he lived. He lived he Laid out on stage. We'll keep bringing you talk that sparked joy including laughing with Tim urban at his impulse to procrastinate to the extreme in just a minute I'm initials Emirati and you're listening to the Ted Radio Hour from NPR. Stay with US support for this podcast and the following message come from the American Jewish World Service working together for more than thirty years to build a more just and equitable world learn more at Aj W. S. dot org if you're spending more time at home. Npr's pop culture. Happy Hour is here to help from family. Friendly favorites to stream two recommendations. That will calm your nerves. You've got ideas what to watch what to read what to listen to for both old favorites and new arrivals pop culture happy hour from NPR. Listen and share with your friends. It's the Ted Radio hour from NPR. I'm a new simmer Odi today on the show. Ted Curator Helen. Walters brings US her pick of talks. That spark joy. So let's continue with writer Tim Urban. Tim was struggling to stop procrastinating and writing his tedtalk in the end. He dissected his excruciating mental process for the talk itself. Very many off. Procrastinator has a guardian angel. Someone who's always looking down on him and watching over him in his darkest moments. Someone called the panic monster. Okay so the panic monster intense. Tim's world is a red stick figure who looks nervous now. The panic monster is dormant most of the time but he suddenly wakes up anytime. Deadline gets too close or there's danger of public embarrassment. A career disaster some other scary consequence and importantly he's the only thing that the monkey is terrified now. He became very relevant in my life. Pretty recently because people have Ted invited me to do a tedtalk. Of course I said yes. It's always been a dream of mine to have done a Ted talk in the past. It's IT'S A it's a Meta Meta Talk Helen. How Weird was it for the Ted team to see their process laid out as Ted talk because you ended up being the subject of the talk in addition to your your colleagues Ted about what the process was like why he sucked at it. But then he managed to pull it off he just. It was delightful. I think we were all chomped by and he's just so funny. The reality is that there's a deeper truth in saying we all. I defy anyone to tell me that they've never procrastinated. Don't in any way relate to what he's talking about I don't non procrastinators exist. That's right I think all of you procrastinators now. You might not all be a mess like some of us but remember the monkeys sneaky. Est trick is when the deadlines aren't there now. Here's extreme and he definitely. I think probably gave people a few palpitations but we have to deal with. It is live and is people and it is. It's okay and he taught us a lot now. I WANNA show you one last thing. I call this a life calendar. That's one box for every week of a ninety year life. Not that many boxes. Especially since we've already used a bunch of those so I think we need to all take a long hard. Look that calendar when you think about what? We're really procrastinating on because everyone is procrastinating on something in life. We need to stay aware of the instant gratification monkey. That's a job for all of us and because there's not that many boxes on their job. That should probably start today today. You Know Sometime Soon. Thank you thanks. Thanks to him right on the last talk that you brought us. Perhaps the most needed talk of all because boy he'll you're those are actually the sound of real human beings laughing sounds like seals with. We took the that those those weird peals of laughter from Sophie Scott's tedtalk which is about why we laugh and Tell US I mean. I think this is the most obvious one but tell us why you love Sophie Scott Well. So Sophie is a neuroscientist who studies laughter and she is a joyful person. She exemplifies joy herself and her work is so interesting as well as being just a really good excuse to listen to a bunch of people often and then then find yourself crying with laughter for no particular reason which I think we could all use roundabout now and she actually explains like physically in addition to like what happens in the brain. She talks about where laughter comes from physically in the body. Understand love you have to look at parts of the body psychologists neuroscientists. Don't normally spend very much time looking at which is the ribcage so use the intercostal muscles the muscles between your ribs to bring in and out of your lungs expanding and contracting your ribcage. That's breathing you're all doing it. Don't stop what happens when you love. Is those same muscles starts. Us contract very regularly and you get these remarks to zigzagging and that's just squeezing their out of you to those contractions gives you a sound and are the contractions run together. You get these spasms and that's when you start getting these things happening brilliant okay. I did not know that humans are not the only creatures that laugh. But we're the only ones who physically make our laughter that way. Did you know that I think I'd forgotten that? It's so interesting that humans are not the only animals put law. I mean obviously there's primates and monkeys but then there's I think ratzel ticklish. That's okay so anytime that you're feeling sad. I'm just GONNA imagine rat having a chuckle right. It's it's so good right. And she she tells the story in her talk about being a little girl and hearing her parents laugh and wanting to get in on it and it so reminds me of like when my my kids will come to the room. If I'm laughing with my husband and I'll be like what what's happening who let's go. Yeah I was a little girl I would have been about six. I came across my parents doing something unusual laughing. They were laughing very very hard. They were lying on the floor laughing. They were screaming with laughter. I did not know what they were laughing at. I wanted in. I want to be part of that and I kind of sat on the go so I totally understand what she's talking about. You want to be in on the laughter. I can only guess that as a curator some of your most joyful moments happiest moments even are when the audience is is having a good old jest knee. Slapper all at the same time when you are able to have a speaker who gets everyone laughing. I mean there's nothing there's nothing better right and then when you have everybody laughing infectious and then before you know where you are. You're just rolling around crying holding onto sides all the rest of it and there's nothing better nothing better. Everybody underestimates often. They laugh. And you're doing something when you off with people that's actually letting you access a really ancient evolutionary system that mammals revolved to make a maintain social bonds and clearly to regulate emotions to make ourselves feel better in other words when it comes to laughter. You and me baby ain't nothing but mammals. So Am I wanna ask you like? What do you hope people take away from listening to some of the best thinkers and makers ideas today what what is version of your shining eyes for like what you want someone to think after they hear a Tedtalk or they listen to this show? I just think it's about making new connections in your brain and just learning and thinking about things that maybe you haven't thought about before the reminder disc to be constantly curious we we don't know anything and that's okay and all we can do is take one day at a time and tell everyone we need to tell that we love them and to find little bits of joy where we can right now and and that can be getting to know your neighbor. Because you're helping them out as you mentioned or you know the weird conversation that my sister and I had about canned beans versus dry beans last night and I think that it's almost like an opportunity for a reset so that brings me joy and you know I have a five year old. Who doesn't understand any of this and thinks that will weird and everything is odd and homeschool is real rubbish. His not wrong about for me like he's actually that's pretty grounding because it's this like I can't be a basket case I. We've we've got to keep some form of normality around us. That involves tickle fights and all that kind of stuff and just just trying to be present in all we have is now. So let's make the most of it. Helen Walters. Ted's head curator. Thank you so much for sharing some of your favorite most joyful talks and letting us go a bit behind the scenes with you so welcome. That was very joyful. Thank you manage my bff. Many many thanks again to Helen. Walters Ted's head of curation you can see all the toxic she mentioned at Ted Dot. Npr Dot Org and hundreds more. Ted Talks at Ted Dot Com. Were the ted APP before we go. We want to share an audio post card from a Ted Speaker who has brought me a lot of joy writer Pico Ir because given multiple talks my favorite is about stillness we asked Pico. Pandemic is changing him and all of us. And here's what he sent us. My name is Pico. And I'm a writer looking out on my quiet residential street here in Nara Japan. There's nothing in tool special about the anonymous suburb in which my wife and I have lived for twenty eight years but I really feel lucky to be here and although restrictions have been tightening the last few days surprising extent this part of Japan looks and feels as it always does Their avenues of Cherry Blossoms lining the park across the street. And all my neighbors gathered on the loans for picnics and ballgames in the brilliant blue spring morning the twelve hundred wild deer who pretty much ruled a city roaming freely around downtown looking sleek and well-fed as they shed their winter for and I think we all know this can change at any moment but Japan has been living with uncertainty with fire and earthquake Nami for fourteen hundred years and the reason my friends Flocking out to observe the chepe blossoms is precisely because there's blossoms remind us that nothing lost very long now. Does it happens. My mother was taken into the hospital back in California. A couple of weeks ago For reasons unrelated to the virus and so of course. I got a seat on the next flight over. I packed my bags. I was all set to take the bus to the airport when I heard that visitors. The Not Allowed California hospitals in any case. So if I'd flown over there I just been stuck in an empty house. Really no person to my mother there than I am. And so of course like all the world living in a state of uncertainty with mortality. Perhaps quite close my mother my wife and I all suffer from asthma. All of us were over sixty so all risk but I feel in some ways. This moment dramatizes. What's always the case? I could never tell you what's going to happen tomorrow. Even tonight and death could be at the draw right now and. That's exactly the reason why I try. Really hard to cherish the beauty of this radiant spring day and not take anything for. I've always felt the what happens to us as much less important than what we make of. What happens to US I once lost my home. Every last thing I earned in the world in a forest five and four hundred and fifty other houses were similarly destroyed and I think everybody of course the scarred but maybe a year later there was some of our neighbors who clearly were unsettled for life. By this event there were others who no-doubt unsettled nonetheless. Thought or maybe. This is a chance to remake lives in a slightly different direction with few things. In a place of choosing less imprisoned in the illusion control everything changes all the time including grief and affection and the fact that nothing lasts is the reason that everything mattis. I've been lucky enough to spend forty five years now traveling and talking with the Dalai Lama and when I've seen him. Recently the phrase he keeps coming back to is emotional disarmament and of course the dollar more than anyone. Always stresses we need to keep our hearts open. We need to feel for others and always to practice compassion and sympathy but we need to defuse destructive emotions. Panic confusion rage. That don't bring us closer to the truth but keep us away from it. I always find that if I fill my head with the news with social media it cuts me instead of opening me up and I don't think it's fruitful for me or the people around me to be whipped into a state of anger or agitation. I think one of the graces of suffering is the cuts through all ideology and essentially reminds us that. We're all in this together. I had an old friend of mine. Who says that the Best Cure? France is thinking of others and I think maybe the best thing that could come out of this crisis is the reminder that all of us essentially going through the same thing young and old eastern and western Republican and Democrat and in this really divided world and the curious way maybe this crisis has reminded us of how much we show so now. I'll be returning to the bright blue spring day around me in the hope. Of course that everyone everywhere will get to enjoy such days very soon My neighbors are worried of course because the number of virus cases has been spiking in our cities and even the single most sacred Shinto shrine in. Kyoto was closed this week. Has I think it's never been closed even during warfare but even so the TV announces during our attention to the Super Moon. And just yesterday my wife and I took a walk in our neighborhood and we suddenly came upon this thick bamboo forest with lines of cherry blossoms in front of it and nightingales teaching their young to sing five minutes away from disappointment. But had it not been for this enforced moment of quiet? We never would have seen it. We hadn't seen it in twenty years that's writer Pico Air. His latest book is Autumn Light. And you can hear his talks at Ted Dot Com. Thanks so much for listening to our show pure joy this week if you wanna find out more about who was on it go to Ted Dot. Npr DOT and to see hundreds more. Ted Talks. Checkout Ted dot com or the Ted APP our production staff at NPR includes Jeff Rodgers Saunas Michigan. Poor Rachel Faulkner Diba Monta Sean James De Lucy. Jc Howard Katie Monteleone Reappears Gutierrez Christina. Kala Gera Brown and Hannah Bolanos with help from Daniel Shchukin. Our intern is Matthew Kutai. Our theme music was written by our employees. Our partners at Ted are Chris Anderson Colin Helms and a feeling and Michelle quit. I'm a Newsom Roti and you've been listening to the Ted Radio Hour from NPR.

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