“There’s a metaphor which I love: living like a drawing compass.”

From her, I learned, amongst many other things, one very precious lesson — that if you want to destroy something in this life, be it an acne, a blemish or the human soul, all you need to do is to surround it with thick walls. It will dry up inside. Now we all live in some kind of a social and cultural circle. We all do. We’re born into a certain family, nation, class. But if we have no connection whatsoever with the worlds beyond the one we take for granted, then we too run the risk of drying up inside. Our imagination might shrink; our hearts might dwindle, and our humanness might wither if we stay for too long inside our cultural cocoons. Our friends, neighbors, colleagues, family — if all the people in our inner circle resemble us, it means we are surrounded with our mirror image.”

— Elif Shafak, The Politics of Fiction (from TEDGlobal 2010)

So much truth to this TED talk about a slew of different topics. From cultural ghetto, identity politics, language, the role of fiction and beyond that, the importance of transcendental storytelling… I’ve replayed this talk three times now. I hope you enjoy and leave with nuggets of wisdom of your own, too.

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