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How to be good enough in America (w/ Wajahat Ali)

How to Be a Better Human


Self-improvement, Education

4.21.1K Ratings

🗓️ 12 February 2024

⏱️ 37 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


If there's one thing this show believes in, it's that finding joy and comedy in life is essential when being human gets tough. Wajahat Ali is a writer who knows this well. His charming and powerful stories bring to light the funny -- and difficult truth-- of life outside of the mainstream. Chris hears from Wajahat about his experiences as a brown Muslim in America and as a father whose young daughter had a complicated health diagnosis. Wajahat's heartwarming wisdom on the importance of letting go (and celebrating the good with the bad, even in the bleakest times) will have you reassessing everything -- from your worst self-destructive tendencies to what you value most.

For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts

Wajahat's latest book, "Go Back to Where You Came From: And Other Helpful Recommendations on How to Become American" is out now.

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Ted Audio Collective.


Audio Collective.


You're listening to how to be a better human.


You're listening to how to be a better human.


I'm your host Chris Duffy.


If there's one thing that I really deeply believe and that I feel like has been


confirmed over and over in conversations for this show, it's that almost nothing


about ourselves is fixed.


We can build new muscles and we can grow and evolve and change in just about every way imaginable.


For me personally, though, one of the hardest skills to build or to maintain is hope and optimism.


I can often get crushed by the weight of the suffering in the world.


And it's hard for me when I'm looking at the news to see hope or optimism as a skill that I can really work to build and to grow and to feel more of.


Which is why I am really excited to be talking to today's guest. more of


which is why I am really excited to be talking to today's guest, Wajat Ali,


because first of all, he's hilarious, and that's always one of the fastest routes to my heart.


So I'm very excited to deduct him for that reason, but also because he makes such a strong, clear-eyed argument for how we can cultivate and preserve hope, even in the face of everything that is going on in the world. Here's a clip from his TED Talk. I'm not a foolish, wide-eyed


naive optimist. I'm a pragmatist. Fully aware of the many challenges and horrors we are facing. But through my own personal


experience if it is all helpful, I can assure you that walking through this forest


of horrors going on this journey wherever it may lead, if you choose to invest in hope, it at least


makes the ride a bit sweeter and easier.


And as the wise Ram tells Poe in Kung Kuplu Panda 2,


your story may not have such a happy beginning,


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