Pay it forward!: Tazuko van Berkel at TEDxRadboudU 2013 by TEDx Talks   6 years ago

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To gain trust from the audience, speakers are inclined to start off with a personal anecdote. Tazuko van Berkel addresses this and refuses to conform. Trust according to the ancient Greeks is the principle of 'paying it forward'. Van Berkel illustrates this by invoking a story about the Athenian philosopher Socrates, while implicitly inviting the audience to pay the speaker forward with trust.

2500 years ago, two bothers -- with very complicated names, but Van Berkel just dubs them Peter and Paul -- visit Socrates. Their relationship is terrible; both have disappointed the other so many times, they barely communicate. They seek Socrates' advice.

Socrates is a firm believer in interpersonal relationships and in paying it forward. If we want the other to treat us to a nice, cosy dinner, we have to invite them first. Or, to invoke a more modern example, "If we want to couchsurf around the world, we have to open up our house first."

If Peter invokes Paul's trust by inviting him first, there are two winners. Even if it just results in a competition of generosity, relations will be improved. And if Paul doesn't invite Peter back? It just shows that Peter is morally superior, the better person.

Van Berkel ends with thanking the audience for paying it forward, to trust her to tell an interesting story.

About TEDx
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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