Welcome to Part 3 of our summary of the rousing TEDx Waterloo event that was held Wednesday, March 21, 2012.
Alicia Raimundo, a mental health advocate, from the age of thirteen, spoke out against the stigma behind mental illness. She spoke from personal experience and candidly spoke of her battle with depression and suicidal thoughts. She opened the presentation asking the listeners to think back to where they were a decade ago. She then revealed that ten years ago, she was suicidal. Alicia shared her personal struggle and how she found hope, and in turn was able to give that concept of hope to others. She fights to keep breaking down the stigma around mental illnesses and encourages everyone to make a difference: “Even though we can’t help everyone, we can all help someone…even if that someone is just ourselves.”
The next speaker was a personal highlight for our John short. Karen Morris captivated the audience with her natural speaking ability and pristine timing. She spoke of the importance of curiosity and how we should not let ourselves grow out of it: “creativity and curiosity need to meet experience and expertise.” She talked about the importance of love and how sometimes we lose sight of it. There is a need in our lives for love. She even gave advice for how companies can better connect with their customers: “Large corporations don’t fall in love with us and yet we tend to fall in love with them.” She talked about the power of new ideas and concepts. She concludes, “With curiosity, creativity and courage, you can change the world.”
The final speaker of the night was Izzeldin Abuelaish. Within one year, he lost his wife, three daughters and a niece. Months after having to deal with the loss of his wife, who died from natural causes, his daughters and niece, were killed from a bomb in Gaza. He was determined to not let this devastating experience embitter him. Izzeldin explained that he would not hate because: “Hate is a toxin that destroys the one who carries it.” He looks for the good in all circumstances and wants to help others. “Life is like riding a bicycle; we must keep balanced.” Izzeldin founded Daughters for Life, a Canadian charity that gives women in the Middle East a better quality of life by providing them the opportunity to develop their own voice and better their community.
We thoroughly enjoyed the experiences and presentations of the event. We are eagerly awaiting the next TEDxWaterloo event.