How The Worst Moments in Our Lives Make Us Who We Are

988669_10152882434160652_1893030052_nWelcome to another Tuesday with TED. Today we have writer Andrew Solomon. Solomon writes about politics, culture, and psychology and has spent his career telling stories of the hardships of others. His 2012 book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children, but also find profound meaning in doing so.

Solomon’s startling proposition is that diversity is what unites us. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. Their struggles toward compassion and the triumphs of love — so very different, yet sharing profound common links — are documented in every chapter.

Solomon’s previous book, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, won the 2001 National Book Award for nonfiction.

In this inspiring talk, Solomon turns inward, bringing us into a childhood of adversity, while also spinning tales of the courageous people he’s met in the years since. In a moving, heartfelt, and at times downright funny talk, Solomon gives a powerful call to action to forge meaning from our biggest struggles. Sit back and enjoy!

Did this talk change how you view adversity? Did it change the stories you tell and how you define identity?

Until next time,
Cynthia Patton

About Cynthia J. Patton

Writer, Editor, Advocate, Speaker, Special Needs Attorney, and Autism Mom. Also the Founder and Chairperson of Autism A to Z, a nonprofit providing resources and solutions for life on the spectrum.
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