So I have just watched THE greatest talk on TED.com (click the link above). It’s a talk titled “what’s so funny about mental illness” by Ruby Wax, who is a kind of mental illness ‘celebrity’ in the UK. She even had her own show about it named “Losing it“. Anyway, the reason I think this is the most amazing talk on TED is that she’s got great presentation techniques (a crucial thing to say given that the topic is mental illness, but indeed this lady knows how to TALK to the audience); and second, she presented her own stories so openly that you would almost feel like this isn’t about the so-called mentalillness and all that sympathy and depression related to it, I’m not saying having sympathy about people who has depression is bad, I’m just saying sympathy has been way over-used these days, and sometimes you would feel the burden to sympathize with those people or you would actually feel guilty like you are hurting them. And third, I do think she brought up a thought-provoking question: why is that when every other parts of our body get sick and you get sympathy but when it’s the brain you get real shame and stuff? And that’s a real issue our society is currently not dealing with directly, thus making tons of people suffer even more than they shouldn’t have, like people getting extremely scared about seeing a psychiatrist or having to take drugs, let alone being institutionalized about what they are having, and that’s simply because people are stigmatizing it, maybe not by saying it out loud, but by the sympathetic look or the condescending over-caring compliment or by whatever annoying thing people would do. #And seriously people you have to stop!
She started the talk by saying that there’s one in four that suffers from some sort of mental illness, and then she hilariously pointed to a random row and said “so if it was one, two, three,four, then you sir, you with the weird teeth, and you (pointing to the next guy) sitting next to him, you know who you are.” And then she was like really sorry to announce that the whole row didn’t look good and it just wasn’t right. What a way to start a speech! And then she began to reveal the truth that she herself is one of the one in four, and because it is so contradictory with people are perceiving of her, it actually creates the dramatic tension to the talk, but right before people got all sympathetic about it like “OMG she sure doesn’t seem like it or ohhh she’s amazing I should give her a hug” kind of thing, she threw another joke at us: “Thanks for the creator of those drugs, I wouldn’t have been if it weren’t for them”. And that’s when people really started to listen to her talk like listening to other talks because before that people were too busy either with laughing or trying to get their own sympathy up, but that’s the point when she clearly showed to the audience that she was telling jokes not because she’s all fakingit up like she’s some extremely fragile depressed people but because she is positive and simply prefer to talk that way, and she is giving a talk about mental illness just like giving a talk on everything else. Going back to the comical effect, I mean she’s not trying to hard at all, and that’s amazing! I’m always jealous about people who have the ability to heat the room all up and make everybody laugh to death but not at all seem to be trying too hard, and man, that’s the kind of gift I would pray for!
So anyway, she started to talk about how she got her breakdown and how she got the package that came with it, which was shame. And that was followed by her vivid explanation of how human brain is equipped with all those neurons and stuff that were supposed to rationalize us and make our lives easier, which instead totally screw us up. One line she said was humorous but crucially true, which was “What once made us safe drives us insane”. In fact she said something really astonishing to me that our pets are way happier than we are, they go around meow meow and are all happy about it, but human beings are totally screwed up by our own emotion and the brain-whatever-systems, which is a shit thing to say, but you got to admit that that shit is so painfully true.
Nevertheless, thats ‘all about the TED talk. I actually laughed so loud when I was watching this in the gym that my friend gave me the I don’t even wanna tell others that I know you kinda facial expression. LOL..
That’s all for today.