To Endure

Update: 2017-04-2811


What allows us to endure our darkest moments? What does it take to show resilience in the face of adversity? In this hour, TED speakers explore the outer limits of inner strength. (Original Broadcast Date: February 11, 2016).

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support for this podcast in the following message Come From Home advisor at home advisor it's fast and easy to find top rated local home pros for any project compare prices and instantly book background checks pros at home advisor dot com or download the Home advisor app for free a guy here and we have been at the Ted conference in Vancouver all this week and man we come back with so many new ideas in the meantime check out this episode for Marquise it aired last year and called to endure and saw them making it through incredibly challenging circumstances you'll hear a story about trudging across the South Pole and another one about being at the center of a global political scandal here is this the is the Head Radio Hour each week groundbreaking Ted the Technology Design at Stanford delivered and Ted conferences around the world gift of the human had to believe in impossible the true nature of reality beckons just beyond those talks those ideas adapted for radio NPR guy rise in on this episode were asking questions and exploring ideas about what it means to endure are looking down measuring each page I looking at this or graphics logos in the writings on my skin the the and watching the right ski binding light up to the letter whatever is a on the ski thing you can get good size measuring progress in inches by six inches of progress and the same time trying to not think about the fact that this was an eighteen hundred mile journey The The this was just a couple of years ago polar Explorer Ben Saunders and his partner Target looking year were attempting an expedition no one had ever completed a life to walk on skis from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back what do you have that the rest of us don't like to try to force among the stuff I don't think I'm unique in any way you know I was in the gym last week hosting a warm ray machine to set the clock for five minutes I remember like the way through thinking he knows Steve for the Son and the the top definitely not a mean to take it easy today on the show had speakers who for reasons of choice or necessity have definitely not taking it easy to keep going who are resilient who endure in the face of serious sometimes life changing diversity people who made it through war and unimaginable environments and in the case of Monica Lewinsky one of the most publicized political scandals in living memory the first active and Sanders and that expedition we mentioned was a journey that had never been completed it's known as the Scott expedition and it was last attempted by an Explorer named Robert Falcon Scott back in the early nineteen hundreds and Sanders picks up the story from the Ted stage it was a journey an expedition in Antarctica the coldest when the Asst driest and highest altitude comes in on a resting place some of you may know the story Scott's last excuse me tear director's nineteen ten started is a big team using ponies using dogs using contract is dropping multiple pre positioned as a food and fuel through which God's final team of five would travel to the pole with a turnaround of ski back to the coast and on foot Scott's his final team of five died on the return journey north complex that absence of this this is the high water mark of human insurance human endeavor human athletic achievements in the harshest climate of course some strange combination of curiosity stubbornness and hubris led me to thinking I might be the man to try and finish the job when Ben and his partner taka staff from the coast of Antarctica in two thousand and fourteen they were hauling sludge is that weighed four hundred and forty pounds or two hundred kilos each blocked on skis about half a mile in our bed nine hundred miles to go until they reach the South Pole which was only the halfway mark on their journey that's the reason no one had attempted this journey until now more This entry was that no one had been quite stupid enough to try them all I can't claim we were exploring in the genuine Edwardian sense of the word we want them in the mountains or mapping any unsalted bellies I think we were stepping into uncharted territory in human sense we didn't go indoors for nearly four months we didn't see a sunset either Friday likes living conditions were quite Spartan I change my underwear three times and under in five days the lowest wind chill experiences into my seventies and we had zero visibility was White House for much of our journey the the the the I mean you you are just like moving the sales pace in those first few weeks and well what were you thinking during the day doing the walk like what was on your mind we thinking we daydream we see better things are just this is interesting and we've taken turns to navigate su de forty five minutes in front each and then change of every hour Hoff said want you both on such we'd sit on the stages in the sun drinking the McHale and it was a real relief to change over to follow because we had a Blue Jackets and the fabric cover the edges with red in the sledge themselves were yellows to the Scala stuff to look at it it was hard to explain the sense of relief at BLT to focus on something and everything around you might get pretty much the Yukon even see it rise you can't see the ground but being inside a bubble the van and target journey was supposed to take a hundred and five days and after sixty one days about on schedule they made it to the halfway mark the South Pole is not much there is an airstrip and a permanent scientific base camp that staffed year round in to get their band and taka and walked as we mentioned nine hundred miles and now they had to walk nine hundred miles back and what they did when they arrived at the South Pole reveals something about the single mindedness that discipline that they had to have to endure this journey because what they did at the South Pole was nothing I always knew we'd be pretty tired when we got there so we arrived at the poll we stayed outside we just literally took a photograph by the poll made for my mom I did some filming and then turned around walked over to see you didn't stay there overnight or anything knows that you did not take a shower then I definitely know anybody there to like come on wave and say Hey welcome we did there were few that we had guests and fish absence of the NASA Science Foundation came welcome to the poll and said Come and have it or we said no thank you for kind we need to get back to the coast under mostly because you're actually afraid that you might never want to he or she never want to go back I think Say Yeah up until that point we'd had this this we had to have this tunnel vision app city single minded focus on what we were doing we had a sandwich after two months but points are to go inside said Tom Chappell coffee would be this way to distract the the the idea that endurance isn't about pushing through obstacles but about knowing yourself well enough to find ways around those obstacles or at least make them less intimidating so even as they push away from the South Pole beginning mile trek back to the outer edge of the continent they have to trick their minds in ways that allowed them to endure just a little further each day with paradox in that most the time we tried to get the actual goal because it seems so intimidating so overwhelming yet recover this huge this is when Leon was struggling to five or six miles in and day the noise that we have to average eighteen twenty miles a day I think of the whole trip seemed unthinkable the the things gets interesting for years I've been watching clips lines in sponsorship proposals about pushing the limits of human insurance but in reality that was a very frightening place to be indeed we had before we got the ball two weeks of almost permanent headwind which slows down as a result we had several days of eating half rations we had a finite amount of food inside just to make this journey so we try to string that out but by reducing your intake to haul the county's we should be seen as a result we both became increasingly hard to glycemic we had low blood sugar levels that dipped after day and increasing susceptible to the extreme cold and was very humbling indeed as much as you might like to think as I do confess he doesn't quit go down swinging hypothermia doesn't have much choice you become pathetic I remember feeling to just wanting to lie down and quit Acadia Acadia feeding at a real surprise to me to be devoted to that degree and then we ran out of food completely the the OK for reasons that were unique to this particular expedition running out of food as Dan and targeted was a huge failure see they were attempting to make this journey just as Robert Scott that explores terms that were trying to do it unassisted using only the food they can carry or that they'd stashed along the way but when weather set them back then and her co worker to make it to the next supply Depot so reluctantly then agree to Collin resupply plane with enough food to get them to the next checkpoint we were both really on the ragged edge and the I just decided we were pushing two fo them when that plane arrived with food I remember something you ate that just says so memorable is so good yeah one of the most real things was was a bottle of Coca and crackers with cream cheese and salmon they sent is like smokes which which is that I'm actually embarrassed saying this thinking of the hardships the sculpture face the fact that we were there like feasting on the bike summit we set off again but at the bus been like one of the best meals of your life oh yeah we're talking saying he's a day until my wife but I think this is the happiest in my life on the plane plane turned up with the with the fact that I regret going for the play for second but it's getting external assistance that was without a public plan something my ego is still struggling with this was the biggest dream I've ever had and it was so nearly perfect but also standing here saying you know that's cliche about the journey being more important than the destination something in that the closer I got to my finish line not really rocky coasts of Ross Island the more stars realize that the biggest lesson that this very long very hard work might be teaching me is that happiness is not a finish line don't feel content on our journeys amidst the mess in the striving that will inhabits the open loops the half finished To Do lists be could do better next times then we might never feel it a lot of people have asked me what's next right now I'm very happy just recovering and in front of Hotel the face but as Bob Hope put it I feel very humble but I think I have the strength of character to fight it thank you the and Sanders that expedition his Scott expedition broke the record for the longest human powered polar journey in history more than four hundred miles his entire talk and a second one we featured on the show before both at Ted dot com coming up more ideas about what it means to endure and Guy rise and you're listening to the Ted Radio Hour from NPR the to table in just a quick thanks to two of our sponsors who helped make this podcast possible first a little pass boards check out Science expeditions the new educational subscription that kids and parents love monthly packages arrived packed with activities and experiments about science technology engineering and math with themes like rockets and solar power in the first month your child will extract DNA from a strawberry pie learning about forensic science learn more at Little passports dot com slash Radio Hour and save forty percent and your first month with coupon code radio our thanks also to bracket mortgage by Quicken loans when it comes to the big decision of choosing a mortgage lender it's important to work with someone you can trust to has your best interests in mind with racket mortgage you'll get the transparent online process that gives you the confidence you need to make an informed decision skip the bacon skip the waiting and go completely on line at Quicken loans dot com slash ideas Jessica an equal Housing lender licensed in all fifty states and in my last consumer access da toward Number thirty thirty it's the Ted Radio Hour from NPR and I rise on the show today ideas about what it means to endure and the things that pull us through make s resilient do you think of yourself as a resilient person for sure I am a resilient person this is an obscenity she works with women in war zones I think Brazilians are something that is part of us in I think we all have it we all don't think we have it's up but when we face our own challenge we have it's you know we are resilient species in my opinion we I resilient humanity resilience some things and have had to figure out pretty early on was the only way to survive the things he witnessed as a child living in Iraq because when Zane was barely eleven and September nineteen eighty the Iran Iraq war began it was a war that would last eight years since I'll be described for memories of the war from the Ted stage in the middle of the ninth with the sound of heavy explosion everything in my room was shaking my hearts my windows says MY bed I looked out the windows and I saw a full half circle of explosion I thought it was just like the movies but the movies did not convey them and the powerful image that I was seeing I went back to my back and I pray and I secretly thank God that's that missile did not plan to my family's home I grew up with the colors for the right color is a fire and blood the brown towns earth as it explodes in our faces and the piercing silver often exploded missiles so bright that nothing can protect your eyes for me I grew up with the sounds of for the wrenching booms of explosions on U S drones of jets flying overhead and the wailing warning sounds of sirens so imagine trying to live a normal life in the middle of something so abnormal this is basically what Zane M's mother tried to do her whole idea of undoing of getting through it even define the war was to be normal was to create a parallel world for children here we I have two brothers and like in the middle of the signers and there was a lot of instructions of what you do and the siren comes which means Iranian planes are filling the skies of Baghdad my mum she would have this puppet shows for my brothers and I with her hands she would make all these jokes and all of these things and we're just having fun actually it took me a long swim to the lies of sight of ice they were the sirens in the place in the bombing and all of that but have purpose as a mother and that moment of fear is to keep life collegues too because you know that we are safe that lets laugh it's okay to switch carriers to pass you know you see the beauty of life keeping the beauty of life keeping love is part of resilience during the war his father was in the Iraqi army soap she didn't get to see em all that much in fact most of the people she did see were on the front lines I could see as a child that all them think that was talked about on TV was from male perspective them and fighting bull it's seeing a whole army tanks airplanes all of it but actually as a child I was witnessing woman in my life my mother was a woman the teachers were women people who run the grocery shop or what man the factories were run by women and suddenly I realize that's why most of the world thinks of four from a male perspective which is not unto it is too except they are missing the other aspect of four which is that women are really keeping life going in the midst when they war ended they have left Iraq for the US but she never forgot that other side of war the side most of us ever see the side in which life somehow goes on and doors so in her early twenties she started a group called Women for Women International it's dedicated to helping women who live in war zones and Santa began to travel to some of those places when I first went to war zones I would like to wear my tees and sneakers and like OK I'm a woman's rights activists and humanitarian and I'm here to tell people and honestly it was from the woman that I thought I was helping who taught me how to enjoy the beauty and celebrate it it was women in Bosnia for example during the days of Saturday a voice was the longest besieged city and I went in the decision when does like okay what you want me to bring you next album here and the woman said lipstick unlike let's say what why don't you don't know why did news again if you know something I don't like lipstick is the why and they said because is the smallest thing we put on everyday and we feel we are beautiful and that's how we are resisting they want us to feel that we aren't dads they want us to feel that too ugly and one woman she said I put the lipstick every time I leave because I want that sniper before he shoots me to know he is killing beautiful woman contenders like that's how she's keeping her beauty like one might take myself so seriously when they are keeping life going through puberty and through the choice just as my mother did when I was a child and so that act of resilience you keep the joy you keep the laughter you keep singing the song Be keep the maladies of this ongoing that's how women resist and and and showed good resilience in the darkest of circumstances and that's what war is the the plaintiffs as if these stories of women enduring and resisting that we just never hear about where men from the story of Freddy the music teacher inside a able who made sure that she kept to the music's cool off in every single day in the four years of the siege inside a apple and walked to that school despite the sniper shooting up that's going on at her and kept the piano the violin the cello playing the whole duration of the war with students bring their gloves and hats and coats that was her fight that was her resistance we are missing the story of the high A Palestinian woman in Gaza who the minute there was a cease fire as you left out of home collected all the flowers and bake as much bread for every neighbor to hop in K's the is no cease fire the day after we are missing the stories of Eli too despite surviving the genocide in the church massacre she kept on going on burying bodies building homes cleaning the streets we are missing stories of women who are literally keeping life going in the midst of force do you know it do you know that people fall in love in water and go to school go to factories and hospitals and get the fourth and go dancing and go play in and live life going the way you think that instant country that allows us to keep going because but I hear the stories I can't help but think I don't I don't know if I can do that absolutely there are lots of times and went through the stage what I feel like this is too much I don't wanna do it is too ugly for me is to discussing is too cool I cannot do it but then it takes one act of kindness it takes one good story it takes one last summer off and like a plant a flower in between the dry earth have you been walking somewhere and then you see like a small plus some of them green it takes one of that one act of kindness that turns things around for us and keeps us believing in the goodness of humanity it's almost like a survival mechanism like we're wired to survive and perpetuate our species and if we didn't endorse the war and resilient we would die right we wouldn't make it I agree and I think it was that only instinctual me some of us assisting school I mean my my experience of people it's honestly um it's a belief I don't know how to explain it other than you know you believe in God you believe in miracles who believe in something that is impossible to make it possible any intangible thing that is so and human spirit but we don't know how to account for its you know it that we don't know how to measure it but it is it's it's it's hope that hope that believe in something that is something possible something good can happen that's sort of the thread that pulls us out of our darkness the person who is depressed or be it person in a war it doesn't matter he is a possibility love can be there things can be better that Billy is always there and human peaks fan of Selby she now hosts a talk show for Arab women its broadcast throughout the Middle East and North Africa you can see her entire talk at Ted dot com So if you think about our species the whole concept of endurance is built right into us mean the fact that we've been around for more than two hundred thousand years has been pretty incredible but does that mean can do or long into the future it may be sort of the over optimistic to say that because we've survived up till now will survive in the future this is Professor Martin Reese I hope you will but the challenges we're facing unprecedented the grease is one the greatest living has mala just see his PhD alongside Stephen Hawking bag in the nineteen sixties and because professor Rees has devoted most of his life to studying the vastness of time and space he's been thinking a lot about the future actually our future and a question just how long our species be around here's Martin Reese on the Ted stage ten years ago I wrote a book which I entitled Our Final Century question mark my publishers cut out the question mark the American publishers chase a title to the final of Americans like instant gratification and the reverse and my theme is this earth has existed full forty five million centuries this one especially the first when one species pandas cute in his hands over nearly all of Earth's history threats have come from a disease earthquakes asteroids and so full from now on the worst dangers come from us and is now not just the nuclear threat interconnected world network breakdowns can Cascade overly air travel can spread pandemics worldwide within daisies and a science offers greater power and promise the downside get scarier to get more on that we and up into the Masters are in denial about catastrophic scenario is some snow is being envisaged may indeed be science fiction but others may be disclosing the real the the what would you give if you are wager a bet that that humanity will exist in the year twenty one hundred I get pretty high odds that the humanity will still exist but I would bet more than evens that we would get to try to one hundred without a very severe setback I think we're going to have a bumpy ride through this century but I think we will bypass out completely but I mean we are in our infancy compared to other homicide species that came before us of seems like we have the capacity to be resilient and to endure for a long time what we do indeed but of course something special happen to us species namely a evolution of language and intelligence enables us to manipulate our surroundings and indeed affect the whole planet so we are they differ from all previous species and we have the power to enjoy always have the parts destroy ourselves in a few decades millions have the capability to misuse rapidly advancing by a tick that Amos use I detected a Freeman Dyson foresaw the children will design and create new organisms just as routinely as his generation played with chemistry sets where this may be on the science fiction fringe boy even part of a Sonora to come about psychology and even the species which already not survive long unscathed for instance they're on some eco extremists who think that it would be better for the planet if the far fewer humans what happens when such people have mastered synthetic biology is widespread but ride the bike then other science fiction nightmare as they transition to reality dumb robots going
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To Endure