TED Talk – Andrew Solomon

The final TED Talk, from Andrew Solomon, summarises many of our themes today. He is looking at how we can not so much find meaning as forge meaning in events. He survived his childhood of bullying for being gay through avoidance and endurance, and found these were important.

‘Forge meaning, build identity’ became his mantra. It doesn’t mean that we can’t still be mad as hell! It doesn’t make what is wrong right, but what is wrong precious. Identity politics applied, say, to gay people should help build both the identity of those people, and the understanding and embracing of that identity by others.

In his relationship, he has learnt not to focus on the reduction of pain, but the presence of joy. And he has learnt to look not for future bliss and joy, but joy in the present, however painful it is. And then to invite the world to share your joy.