Do you need a dose of “feel good” in your life right now? Watch this video and rest assure it will give you that and so, so much more.

Starting out by reciting an amazing poem, she goes on telling us how to teach kids poetry and performing. It’s worth your while, trust us.


If I should have a daughter, instead of “Mom,” she’s gonna call me “Point B,” because that way she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I’m going to paint solar systems on the backs of her hands so she has to learn the entire universe before she can say, “Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.” And she’s going to learn that this life will hit you hard in the face, wait for you to get back up just so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here,that cannot be fixed by Band-Aids or poetry. So the first time she realizes that Wonder Woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried. “And, baby,” I’ll tell her, don’t keep your nose up in the air like that. I know that trick; I’ve done it a million times. You’re just smelling for smoke so you can follow the trail back to a burning house, so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire to see if you can save him. Or else find the boy who lit the fire in the first place, to see if you can change him.” But I know she will anyway,so instead I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate and rain boots nearby, because there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix. Okay, there’s a few heartbreaks that chocolate can’t fix. But that’s what the rain boots are for, because rain will wash away everything, if you let it. I want her to look at the world through the underside of a glass-bottom boat, to look through a microscope at the galaxies that exist on the pinpoint of a human mind, because that’s the way my mom taught me. That there’ll be days like this. ♫ There’ll be days like this, my momma said. ♫ When you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises; when you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you want to save are the ones standing on your cape; when your boots will fill with rain, and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment. And those are the very days you have all the more reason to say thank you. Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away. You will put the wind in winsome, lose some.You will put the star in starting over, and over. And no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute,be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life. And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting, I am pretty damn naive. But I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily, but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it. “Baby,” I’ll tell her, “remember, your momma is a worrier, and your poppa is a warrior, and you are the girl with small hands and big eyes who never stops asking for more.” Remember that good things come in threes and so do bad things. And always apologize when you’ve done something wrong, but don’t you ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining. Your voice is small, but don’t ever stop singing. And when they finally hand you heartache, when they slip war and hatred under your door and offer you handouts on street-corners of cynicism and defeat, you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother.

Thank you. Thank you.

All right, so I want you to take a moment, and I want you to think of three things that you know to be true. They can be about whatever you want – technology, entertainment, design, your family, what you had for breakfast. The only rule is don’t think too hard. Okay, ready? Go. Okay.

So here are three things I know to be true. I know that Jean-Luc Godard was right when he said that, “a good story has a beginning, a middle and an end, although not necessarily in that order.” I know that I’m incredibly nervous and excited to be up here, which is greatly inhibiting my ability to keep it cool.(Laughter) And I know that I have been waiting all week to tell this joke. Why was the scarecrow invited to TED? Because he was out standing in his field. (Laughter) I’m sorry. Okay, so these are three things I know to be true. But there are plenty of things I have trouble understanding. So I write poems to figure things out. Sometimes the only way I know how to work through something is by writing a poem. And sometimes I get to the end of the poem and look back and go, “Oh, that’s what this is all about,” and sometimes I get to the end of the poem and haven’t solved anything, but at least I have a new poem out of it.

Spoken word poetry is the art of performance poetry. I tell people it involves creating poetry that doesn’t just want to sit on paper, that something about it demands it be heard out loud or witnessed in person. When I was a freshman in high school, I was a live wire of nervous hormones. And I was underdeveloped and over-excitable. And despite my fear of ever being looked at for too long, I was fascinated by the idea of spoken word poetry. I felt that my two secret loves, poetry and theatre, had come together, had a baby, a baby I needed to get to know. So I decided to give it a try. My first spoken word poem, packed with all the wisdom of a 14-year-old, was about the injustice of being seen as unfeminine. The poem was very indignant, and mainly exaggerated, but the only spoken word poetry that I had seen up until that point was mainly indignant, so I thought that that’s what was expected of me. The first time that I performed, the audience of teenagers hooted and hollered their sympathy, and when I came off the stage I was shaking. I felt this tap on my shoulder, and I turned around to see this giant girl in a hoodie sweatshirt emerge from the crowd. She was maybe eight feet tall and looked like she could beat me up with one hand, but instead she just nodded at me and said, “Hey, I really felt that. Thanks.” And lightning struck. I was hooked.

I discovered this bar on Manhattan’s Lower East Side that hosted a weekly poetry open mic, and my bewildered, but supportive, parents took me to soak in every ounce of spoken word that I could. I was the youngest by at least a decade, but somehow the poets at the Bowery Poetry Club didn’t seem bothered by the 14-year-old wandering about – if fact, they welcomed me. And it was here, listening to these poets share their stories, that I learned that spoken word poetry didn’t have to be indignant, it could be fun or painful or serious or silly. The Bowery Poetry Club became my classroom and my home,and the poets who performed encouraged me to share my stories as well. Never mind the fact that I was 14 – they told me, “Write about being 14.” So I did and stood amazed every week when these brilliant, grown-up poets laughed with me and groaned their sympathy and clapped and told me, “Hey, I really felt that too.”

Now I can divide my spoken word journey into three steps. Step one was the moment I said, “I can. I can do this.” And that was thanks to a girl in a hoodie. Step two was the moment I said, “I will. I will continue. I love spoken word. I will keep coming back week after week.” And step three began when I realized that I didn’t have to write poems that were indignant, if that’s not what I was. There were things that were specific to me, and the more that I focused on those things, the weirder my poetry got, but the more that it felt like mine. It’s not just the adage “write what you know.” It’s about gathering up all of the knowledge and experience you’ve collected up to now to help you dive into the things you don’t know. I use poetry to help me work through what I don’t understand, but I show up to each new poemwith a backpack full of everywhere else that I’ve been.

When I got to university, I met a fellow poet who shared my belief in the magic of spoken word poetry.And actually, Phil Kaye and I coincidentally also share the same last name. When I was in high school I had created Project V.O.I.C.E. as a way to encourage my friends to do spoken word with me. But Phil and I decided to reinvent Project V.O.I.C.E. – this time changing the mission to using spoken word poetry as a way to entertain, educate and inspire. We stayed full-time students, but in between we traveled, performing and teaching nine-year-olds to MFA candidates, from California to Indiana to Indiato a public high school just up the street from campus.

And we saw over and over the way that spoken word poetry cracks open locks. But it turns out sometimes, poetry can be really scary. Turns out sometimes, you have to trick teenagers into writing poetry. So I came up with lists. Everyone can write lists. And the first list that I assign is “10 Things I Know to be True.” And here’s what happens, and here’s what you would discover too if we all started sharing our lists out loud. At a certain point, you would realize that someone has the exact same thing,or one thing very similar, to something on your list. And then someone else has something the complete opposite of yours. Third, someone has something you’ve never even heard of before. And fourth, someone has something you thought you knew everything about, but they’re introducing a new angle of looking at it. And I tell people that this is where great stories start from – these four intersections of what you’re passionate about and what others might be invested in.

And most people respond really well to this exercise. But one of my students, a freshman named Charlotte, was not convinced. Charlotte was very good at writing lists, but she refused to write any poems. “Miss,” she’d say, “I’m just not interesting. I don’t have anything interesting to say.” So I assigned her list after list, and one day I assigned the list “10 Things I Should Have Learned by Now.”Number three on Charlotte’s list was, “I should have learned not to crush on guys three times my age.” I asked her what that meant, and she said, “Miss, it’s kind of a long story.” And I said, “Charlotte, it sounds pretty interesting to me.” And so she wrote her first poem, a love poem unlike any I had ever heard before. And the poem began, “Anderson Cooper is a gorgeous man.” (Laughter) “Did you see him on 60 Minutes, racing Michael Phelps in a pool – nothing but swim trunks on – diving in the water, determined to beat this swimming champion? After the race, he tossed his wet, cloud-white hair and said, ‘You’re a god.’ No, Anderson, you’re the god.”

Now I know that the number one rule to being cool is to seem unfazed, to never admit that anything scares you or impresses you or excites you. Somebody once told me it’s like walking through life like this. You protect yourself from all the unexpected miseries or hurt that might show up. But I try to walk through life like this. And yes, that means catching all of those miseries and hurt, but it also means that when beautiful, amazing things just fall out of the sky, I’m ready to catch them. I use spoken word to help my students rediscover wonder, to fight their instincts to be cool and unfazed and, instead, actively pursue being engaged with what goes on around them, so that they can reinterpret and create something from it.

It’s not that I think that spoken word poetry is the ideal art form. I’m always trying to find the best way to tell each story. I write musicals; I make short films alongside my poems. But I teach spoken word poetrybecause it’s accessible. Not everyone can read music or owns a camera, but everyone can communicate in some way, and everyone has stories that the rest of us can learn from. Plus, spoken word poetry allows for immediate connections. It’s not uncommon for people to feel like they’re alone or that nobody understands them, but spoken word teaches that if you have the ability to express yourselfand the courage to present those stories and opinions, you could be rewarded with a room full of your peers, or your community, who will listen. And maybe even a giant girl in a hoodie will connect with what you’ve shared. And that is an amazing realization to have, especially when you’re 14. Plus, now with YouTube, that connection’s not even limited to the room we’re in. I’m so lucky that there’s this archive of performances that I can share with my students. It allows for even more opportunities for them to find a poet or a poem that they connect to.

It is tempting — once you’ve figured this out – it is tempting to keep writing the same poem, or keep telling the same story, over and over, once you’ve figured out that it will gain you applause. It’s not enough to just teach that you can express yourself. You have to grow and explore and take risks and challenge yourself. And that is step three: infusing the work you’re doing with the specific things that make you you, even while those things are always changing. Because step three never ends. But you don’t get to start on step three, until you take step one first: I can.

I travel a lot while I’m teaching, and I don’t always get to watch all of my students reach their step three,but I was very lucky with Charlotte, that I got to watch her journey unfold the way it did. I watched her realize that, by putting the things that she knows to be true into the work she’s doing, she can create poems that only Charlotte can write – about eyeballs and elevators and Dora the Explorer. And I’m trying to tell stories only I can tell – like this story. I spent a lot of time thinking about the best way to tell this story, and I wondered if the best way was going to be a PowerPoint or a short film – and where exactly was the beginning or the middle or the end? And I wondered whether I’d get to the end of this talk and finally have figured it all out, or not.

And I always thought that my beginning was at the Bowery Poetry Club, but it’s possible that it was much earlier. In preparing for TED, I discovered this diary page in an old journal. I think December 54th was probably supposed to be 24th. It’s clear that when I was a child, I definitely walked through life like this. I think that we all did. I would like to help others rediscover that wonder – to want to engage with it, to want to learn, to want to share what they’ve learned, what they’ve figured out to be true and what they’re still figuring out.

So I’d like to close with this poem.

When they bombed Hiroshima, the explosion formed a mini-supernova so every living animal, human or plant that received direct contact with the rays from that sun was instantly turned to ash. And what was left of the city soon followed. The long-lasting damage of nuclear radiation caused an entire city and its population to turn into powder. When I was born, my mom says I looked around the whole hospital room with a stare that said, “This? I’ve done this before.” She says I have old eyes. When my Grandpa Genji died, I was only five years old, but I took my mom by the hand and told her, “Don’t worry, he’ll come back as a baby.” And yet, for someone who’s apparently done this already, I still haven’t figured anything out yet. My knees still buckle every time I get on a stage. My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth. But in Hiroshima, some people were wiped clean away, leaving only a wristwatch or a diary page. So no matter that I have inhibitions to fill all my pockets, I keep trying, hoping that one day I’ll write a poem I can be proud to let sit in a museum exhibit as the only proof I existed. My parents named me Sarah, which is a biblical name. In the original story, God told Sarah she could do something impossible and she laughed, because the first Sarah, she didn’t know what to do with impossible. And me? Well, neither do I, but I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others while things are blowing up around you, knowing that while you’re speaking, they aren’t just waiting for their turn to talk — they hear you. They feel exactly what you feel at the same time that you feel it. It’s what I strive for every time I open my mouth – that impossible connection. There’s this piece of wall in Hiroshima that was completely burnt black by the radiation. But on the front step, a person who was sitting there blocked the rays from hitting the stone. The only thing left now is a permanent shadow of positive light. After the A-bomb, specialists said it would take 75 years for the radiation-damaged soil of Hiroshima City to ever grow anything again. But that spring, there were new buds popping up from the earth. When I meet you, in that moment, I’m no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all. So if you tell me I can do the impossible, I’ll probably laugh at you. I don’t know if I can change the world yet, because I don’t know that much about it – and I don’t know that much about reincarnation either, but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I’m in. This isn’t my first time here. This isn’t my last time here. These aren’t the last words I’ll share. But just in case, I’m trying my hardest to get it right this time around.

Thank you.

PHILADELPHIA — When Mason Wartman left his Wall Street job to open a pizza shop in Philadelphia just over a year ago, his goal was simple: sell slices for $1 each and to do it well.

The 27-year-old entrepreneur has since expanded his mission.

His no-frills shop, Rosa’s Fresh Pizza in Philadelphia’s Center City, has served 8,500 slices to homeless people after customers began paying Mr. Wartman to hand out the slices through so-called “pay it forward” acts of kindness.

“Paying it forward” is a longstanding idea that involves someone receiving an act of kindness and passing it on to another recipient. It was popularized by the 2000 film “Pay It Forward,” based on a novel of the same title.

But at Rosa’s Pizza the concept is baked into the business. Homeless patrons, who number about 30 to 40 each day, can come in and claim a slice any time.

Located on an almost vacant block, the shop has always served many homeless people because of its low prices.

One day in March, a customer asked to pay for a slice for the next homeless person who came in.

Mr. Wartman grabbed a sticky note to keep track. As word spread, the shop’s walls became covered in the notes.

They are still there — for symbolism at this point. Mr. Wartman keeps track of the handout slices, which account for about 10 percent of his business.

He said people who receive the slices have told him the generosity helps them avoid committing petty crime to get money for food.

“I knew it saved people money,” Mr. Wartman said. “I hadn’t considered that it stopped people from committing crime.”

Mr. Wartman, a business school graduate who worked in sell-side equities research for a small firm, didn’t know much about the pizza business when he opened. He used a chart provided by one of his food purveyors to figure out how to make dough.

His open-door approach to the homeless differs from some other businesses. In Wilmington, Del., a hotel that turned away homeless people who were offered rooms paid for by a Christian ministry recently had to reverse course after a social media outcry, local media reported.

Susan Mudambi, a professor of marketing at the Fox School of Business at Temple University, said there’s little risk that the business would be rejected by some customers because it served the homeless.

“Rosa’s Pizza did it right,” Ms. Mudambi said.

Members of the BuzzFeed Community sent in their favorite lines from literature. Here are some of their most beautiful replies.”

Suggested by CindyH11 Creative Commons / Flickr: 58621196@N05

2. “In our village, folks say God crumbles up the old moon into stars.”
—Alexander Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Suggested by Jasmin B., via Facebook

3. “She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.”
—J. D. Salinger, “A Girl I Knew”
Suggested by mollyp49cf70741

4. “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart; I am, I am, I am.”
—Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Suggested by Brooke K., via Facebook

Suggested by tina6287 Creative Commons / Flickr: 29865701@N02

6. “Beauty is an enormous, unmerited gift given randomly, stupidly.”
—Khaled Hosseini, And the Mountains Echoed
Suggested by Danielle O., via Facebook

7. “Sometimes I can feel my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.”
—Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Suggested by Kellie C., via Facebook

8. “What are men to rocks and mountains?”
—Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Suggested by amandae16

Suggested by klavdijak22 Creative Commons / Flickr: rayseinefotos

10. “‘Dear God,’ she prayed, ‘let me be something every minute of every hour of my life.’”
—Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Suggested by Shanna B., via Facebook

11. “The curves of your lips rewrite history.”
—Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Suggested by Therese K., via Facebook

12. “A dream, all a dream, that ends in nothing, and leaves the sleeper where he lay down, but I wish you to know that you inspired it.”
—Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
Suggested by amykartzmanr

Suggested by natyjira Creative Commons / Flickr: junevre

14. “As Estha stirred the thick jam he thought Two Thoughts and the Two Thoughts he thought were these: a) Anything can happen to anyone. and b) It is best to be prepared.”
—Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
Suggested by Alyssa P., via Facebook

15. “If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving one be me.”
—W. H. Auden, “The More Loving One”
Suggested by Blake M., via Facebook

16. “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”
—John Steinbeck, East of Eden
Suggested by Missy W., via Facebook

Suggested by Domo Creative Commons / Flickr: kwarz

18. “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
—William Shakespeare, Hamlet
Suggested by Emily F., via Facebook

19. “America, I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.”
—Allen Ginsburg, “America”
Suggested by Jimmy C., via Facebook

20. “It might be that to surrender to happiness was to accept defeat, but it was a defeat better than many victories.”
—W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage
Suggested by fireworkshurricanes

Suggested by amk93. Creative Commons / Flickr: chrisjl

22. “At the still point, there the dance is.”
—T. S. Eliot, “Four Quartets”
Suggested by vkanicka

23. “Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.”
—Nicole Krauss, The History of Love
Suggested by Sam H., via Facebook

24. “In spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart.”
—Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank
Suggested by claires10

Suggested by Christina G., via Facebook Creative Commons / Flickr: yousefmalallah

26. “The pieces I am, she gather them and gave them back to me in all the right order.”
—Toni Morrison, Beloved
Suggested by lisah4b5176fb6

27. “How wild it was, to let it be.”
—Cheryl Strayed, Wild
Suggested by Natalie P., via Facebook

28. “Do I dare / Disturb the universe?”
—T. S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
Suggested by Kati A., via Facebook

Suggested by Barbara B., via Facebook Creative Commons / Flickr: library_of_congress

30. “She was lost in her longing to understand.”
—Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
Suggested by melibellel

31. “She was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.”
—Kate Chopin, “The Awakening”
Suggested by Madeline M., via Facebook

32. “We cross our bridges as we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and the presumption that once our eyes watered.”
—Tom Stoppard, Rosencratz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Suggested by Liza

Suggested by Kristen S., via Facebook Creative Commons / Flickr: nancyvioletavelez

34. “The half life of love is forever.”
—Junot Diaz, This Is How You Lose Her
Suggested by xxx

35. “I celebrate myself, and sing myself.”
—Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Suggested by Alyssa M., via Facebook

36. “There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.”
—Bram Stroker, Dracula
Suggested by Adam A., via Facebook

Suggested by Emily W., via Facebook Creative Commons / Flickr: michael_wacker

37. “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it yet.”
—L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Suggested by Stacy W., via Facebook

38. “I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moving, not even when the room went dark.”
—Raymond Carver, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”
Suggested by Savey S., via Facebook

39. “I would always rather be happy than dignified.”
—Charlotte Brontë , Jane Eyre
Suggested by Chelsea Z., via Facebook

Suggested by Sophie C., via Facebook Creative Commons Flickr: cedwardbrice

41. “I have spread my dreams under your feet; / Tread softly because you tread on my dreams”
—W. B. Yeats, “Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven”
Suggested by niamhmdd

42. “It frightened him to think what must have gone to the making of her eyes.”
—Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence
Suggested by uncnicole

43. “For poems are like rainbows; they escape you quickly.”
—Langston Hughes, The Big Sea
Suggested by TonyaPenn

Suggested by katepalo Creative Commons / Flickr: archer10

45. “I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.”
—Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
Suggested by Maria K., via Facebook

46. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
–F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Suggested by carlyh3

47. “Journeys end in lovers meeting.”
—William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
Suggested by foresth2

Suggested by babydolllolita Creative Commons / Flickr: smithsonian

49. “It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.”
—J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Suggested by Tatiana H., via Facebook

50. “Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.”
—Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
Suggested by Sara S., via Facebook

51. “One must be careful of books, and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”
—Cassandra Clare, The Infernal Devices
Suggested by par0023

I am sure you have seen on facebook or instagram some women working out, looking hot, and fabulous… and missing some drops of sweat. What’s up with that? Real life does not look that glamorous!

This great video shows real women working out. Our fave quote? “I jiggle, therefore I am”.

#girlpower #bethebetteryou #realgirls #thiscancan

 Man Awakens After 12 Years in a “Vegetative State – by Hannah Bleau


Martin Pistorious was just 12 years old when the doctors diagnosed him with what they believed was Cryptococci Meningitis. He eventually deteriorated into a vegetable-like state, losing his fine motor skills along with his “normal” life.

His parents were heartbroken after the doctors told them to bring him home to die. They brought him home, but he didn’t pass away. His parents cared for him without a single sign of improvement for over a decade.

Excerpts from Life News:

According to NPR news, his father would get up at 5 o’clock in the morning, get him dressed, load him in the car, take him to the special care center where he’d leave him. Rodney said, “Eight hours later, I’d pick him up, bathe him, feed him, put him in bed, set my alarm for two hours so that I’d wake up to turn him so that he didn’t get bedsores.”

For twelve years, Martin’s family cared for him without any sign that he was improving. Joan started to despair and even told her son, “I hope you die.”

 Today she acknowledges that was a horrible thing to say but says she just wanted some sort of relief. Remarkably, now Martin is 39-years-old and says he was totally aware of everything going on around him.

Today, Martin can talk about his experience, and he revealed something incredibly chilling. He wasn’t so vegetable like after all. He was trapped in a body that wouldn’t cooperate.

He said, “Yes, I was there, not from the very beginning, but about two years into my vegetative state, I began to wake up. I was aware of everything, just like any normal person. Everyone was so used to me not being there that they didn’t notice when I began to be present again. The stark reality hit me that I was going to spend the rest of my life like that — totally alone.”

Unfortunately, Martin was even aware of his mother’s harsh words and began believing that no one would ever love him. He said, “You don’t really think about anything. You simply exist. It’s a very dark place to find yourself because, in a sense, you are allowing yourself to vanish.”

Martin spent most of those days at a care center where his caregivers played Barney reruns over and over again. They did this because they believed he was a vegetable too. He said, “I cannot even express to you how much I hated Barney.”

But eventually, Martin became frustrated with being trapped in his own body and started to try and take control of his life. He learned to tell time by the rising and setting of the sun and would reframe even the ugliest of thoughts that haunted him like his mother’s wish for him to die. “As time passed, I gradually learned to understand my mother’s desperation. Every time she looked at me, she could see only a cruel parody of the once-healthy child she had loved so much,” said Martin.

Now Martin is married and has penned a memoire about his life. He has gained control of his body and in his book Ghost Boy, he writes, “My mind was trapped inside a useless body, my arms and legs weren’t mine to control and my voice was mute. I couldn’t make a sign or sounds to let anyone know I’d become aware again. I was invisible—the ghost boy.”

This story especially appealed to me because I grew up with a member of my family in a similar situation. My youngest sister was born with cerebral palsy. She can’t walk, talk or feed herself on her own. She’s trapped in a body that won’t work. While she’s far from a “vegetable-like” state, I know she has experienced the same things as Martin. When you can’t communicate or control your muscle movements to show people you are listening, you can feel totally alone. I’ve witnessed my sister’s own frustration. Sometimes the people that are thought to know you the best (family) have the hardest time communicating and connecting.

All life is precious. When I was a child, I was frustrated with people for the way they gawked at my sister. They’d stare at her like some kind of alien or worse, pretend she couldn’t hear or understand the hurtful things they were saying.

We should all be cognizant of the disabled children and adults in our community. No matter how bad they look, they might just be another lonely soul trapped inside a body that refuses to cooperate with their mind, will and emotions.

Martin’s life is a testament to that.

-Impressive, huh?

#1. The Man That Refused To Give The Nazi Salute, 1936

#2. Nikola Tesla In His Laboratory, Sitting Behind His “Magnifying Transmitter”

#3. The Graves Of A Catholic Woman And Her Protestant Husband Seperated By A Wall, Holland, 1888.

#4. Austrian Boy’s Moment Of Pure Happiness After Receiving New Shoes During WWII

Gerald Waller

#5. Race Organizers Attempt To Stop Kathrine Switzer From Competing In The Boston Marathon. She Became The First Woman To Finish The Race, 1967

#6. The Unbroken Seal On Tutankhamun’s Tomb, 1922 (3,245 Years Untouched)

#7. Painting The Eiffel Tower, 1932

#8. Unknown Soldier In Vietnam, 1965

Horst Faas

#9. First Morning After Sweden Changed From Driving On The Left Side To Driving On The Right, 1967

Jan Collsiöö

#10. Animals Being Used As Part Of Medical Therapy, 1956

Francis Miller

#11. The Kiss Of Life – A Utility Worker Giving Mouth-to-mouth To Co-worker After He Contacted A High Voltage Wire, 1967

#12. Annette Kellerman Promotes Women’s Right To Wear A Fitted One-piece Bathing Suit, 1907. She Was Arrested For Indecency.

#13. Grotto In An Iceberg, Photographed During The British Antarctic Expedition, 5 Jan 1911.

Herbert Ponting

#14. 106-year-old Armenian Woman Guards Home, 1990

United Nations

#15. Albert Einstein, Summer 1939 Nassau Point, Long Island, Ny

#16. Painter Of The Brooklyn Bridge,1914

#17. The Last Known Photo Of The Titanic Above Water, 1912

#18. Disneyland Employee Cafeteria In 1961


#19. Massive Crowds Gather For The First Woodstock, 1969

#20. The Real Winnie The Pooh And Christopher Robin, 1927


#21. Women Delivering Ice, 1918

#22. Hannah Stilley, Born 1746, Photographed In 1840. Probably The Earliest Born Individual Captured On Film

#23. The Beatles Play For 18 People In The Aldershot Club, December 1961. They Were To Become Superstars In One And A Half Year.

#24. The First Ever Underground Train Journey, Edgware Road Station, London, 1862

James Morley

#25. Customers At A London Music Store, 1955

#26. Woman With A Gas-resistant Pram, England, 1938

#27. Elvis In The Army, 1958


#28. Baby Cages Used To Ensure That Children Get Enough Sunlight And Fresh Air When Living In An Apartment Building, 1937

#29. Measuring Bathing Suits, If They Were Too Short, Women Would Be Fined, 1920’s

#30 Salvador Dali Kisses The Hand Of Raquel Welch After Finishing His Famous Portrait Of Her, 1965

#31. Little Girl With Her Doll Sitting In The Ruins Of Her Bombed Home, London, 1940

#32. Georges Blind, A Member Of The French Resistance, Smiling At A German Firing Squad, 1944

#33. “wait For Me Daddy,” By Claude P. Dettloff In New Westminster, Canada, October 1, 1940

#34. Sailor Kissing Nurse, Times Square, August 14, 1945

#35. Audrey Hepburn Shopping With Her Pet Deer “ip” In Beverly Hills, Ca, 1958

#36. Three Men Run In The Marathon At The First Modern Olympic Games, 1896

#37. Newspaper Boy Ned Parfett Sells Copies Of The Evening Paper Bearing News Of Titanic’s Sinking The Night Before, April 16, 1912

#38. Coca-Cola Comes To France, 1950

#39. Mother Hides Her Face In Shame After Putting Her Children Up For Sale, Chicago, 1948

#40. Norway Receive Their First Ever Shipment Of Bananas,1905

(h/t: boredpanda)


From Maria Popova, this is a beautiful, heart-felt video with some great lessons to try to achieve in life. They may seem distant, but seeking them alone means already gaining so much.


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