Friday, June 5, 2015

Article 5: TED talk

TED talk
Why bother leave the house?
By:Ben Saunders
Rating: **** excellent
Throughout the course of time and even today there are people who choose to “push the limits” of almost anything, whether it be climbing a mountain or beating your personal best race time. However, some people choose to push even harder, like Ben Saunders. In this talk, Saunders does not discuss how people push their limits, he asks why.

At the beginning of the talk, Ben Saunders talks about his own experience in 2004 crossing the Arctic circle alone on skis, pulling almost 400 lbs of supplies and food. The trip took him 10 weeks, with an average temperature from -35-50 degrees Celsius. He then goes on to discuss his future planned trip of walking to the center of the south pole and back, finishing a trip that Captain Scott and his 5 man team, only to discover upon arrival at the center of Antarctica that a Norwegian team on skies had beat them there. Unfortunately, Captain Scott and his team died on the return trip. Saunders then begins to discuss the reasons why people such as himself perform such daring tasks, with no obvious outcome. He quotes George Mallory, the man who may or may not have been the first to fully ascend mount Everest, saying “There is not one sliver of profit or results out of climbing this mountain. Why I am here?” Saunders goes on to discuss how the challenge of the task, the fact that is had been deemed impossible, pushes people to do the impossible, to show how wrong everyone is, while the endeavor sometimes has no point, like climbing Everest. There is no new species or vegetation to be discovered, and no precious metals buried in its core, yet to this day people continue to climb the huge mountain, because of the challenge. He then goes on to encourage people to experience this for themselves, rather than watch it on tv. In his own experience, he simply couldn’t find the right words to describe what his trip was like to others who have never done such a thing. He urges people to experience these events for themselves, for it provokes an amazing feeling of accomplishment and happiness.

This TED talk has changed my perspective on many challenges in life, not all of them as great as the ones Saunders has tackled. It has especially made me think about how different of a feeling an image on a screen is compared to the real thing. No matter how much the tv companies work on picture and image, they will never truly provoke the same feeling from the person climbing a mountain and a person sitting on their couch watching it. This TED talk has definitely made me want to get out of the house and experience awesome things, rather then watch it on television.
Saunders, Ben. 'Ben Saunders: Why Bother Leaving The House?'. YouTube. N.p., 2015. Web. 1 May 2015.

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