Chimamanda Adichie is a story teller and in this TEDtalk she tells her own in a way I could never replicate. Her narrative makes you think about what perspectives we keep on the world and how we should be aware of them. She explains how our perceptions of a culture may not apply to every single person or community and results in us losing the richness of the stories around us in everyday life. Stereotypes become the spotlights that shed light in a negative way and reveal little else to the untraveled eye.
Her speech makes me want to understand the cultures of the world more intimately, and to expand my understanding of the effects of globalization on cultures all over the world. That intimacy will help me visualize Chinese or Indian characters listening to music from around the world and living lives I might not have expected. Understanding that there is as much good that happens anywhere as there is bad can make you realize the depth of human complexity anywhere in the world.
Her tale really helped me to widen the horizon of my thoughts onto what the intricacies of an individual might be. What a character may be exposed to in the world is much more vast than their own culture. For instance though I am white American I have an intense love of Japanese culture and can often be seen dancing to K-pop and J-pop. Mind you I've been listening to this genre of music for awhile, long before Psy came into vogue. Random exposure to the world around us makes me think of the movie Slum-dog Millionaire. The main character who knows Benjamin Franklin is on the American one hundred dollar bill is in its own right an interesting narrative. Someday soon I should get around to reading the book and see if I obtain anymore enlightenment from what lies written on the pages.
There is so much that can be learned from this twenty minute piece. After watching it three times I still feel I have not grasped all that she has to offer in her biographical narrative.
Take a break from writing and enjoy watching!