Saturday, May 31, 2014

TEDxTokyo Day

Today is TEDxTokyo Day. The annual presentation of a myriad of different ideas, actions and projects from people all around the globe who come to the stage in Shibuya to share their thoughts with a crowd lucky enough to have obtained one of the rare and sought after tickets. And what a beautiful day it is. However, if you weren't lucky enough, you can always follow in English (or Japanese) through the live feed at:

Every now and then one of the presentations stops you in your tracks. Last year it was a speech by an Irishman, Rene Duignan, called "Saving Ten Thousand Lives". A emotional and very personal look at how suicide takes the lives of thirty thousand people a year in Japan. 

He explained the lack off support for sufferers of depression, how life insurance policies pay out on suicide so people are actually incentivised to kill themselves to free their families of money problems and even how relatives are made to pay the clean up costs after someone steps in front of a train.

And he spoke of the lady next door who took her own life. All she wanted to do was talk to someone. And now he is haunted by regret that will last the rest of his life that he didn't say "hello". So on this beautiful day, look up from your phone and smile at someone. It might just change their life.

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