Saturday, November 10, 2012

Voting for the First Time 第一次投票

On the eve of 2012 presidential election, I gave a 6-minute talk about my experience of voting for the first time as part of a mini TED on Nov 5, 2012. The video ended up on the TED blog.

"What one does may not change the outcome of an event, but it's never in vain. To participate is to say 'yes' to life, to join the force of life." I feel really honored to be given the opportunity to tell my story. I hope it has inspired some people to vote.

视频有中文字幕,按"Select Language",选择"Chinese, Simplified"。


David Ring said...

Just finished watching your TED video about the value of books and the lessons they can teach.
Beautifully done! Definitely filled with ideas "worth sharing." You HAVE honored your parents.... in ways they probably could never have "dreamed of."
You did not have enough time in that presentation to also mention what it was that informed those especially rich (good!) helpful book selections. On the surface, I might describe it as "your personal interest" meets the "well known and beloved" --sometimes described as the classics, but that term might seem too academic. If there is more to say about what led you to those particular books, it would be good to share that also,.... or did I miss something in only watching the video once?
If you so desire, you could still experience (inhabit?) your childhood dream vicariously by developing a hobby of listening to great Chinese Opera (and singing along?), collecting videos, pictures, props or costumes, etc. or even supporting a local amature chinese opera group.

As you pointed out though, it is through books that we are able to move on from seemingly impossible dreams... to realizable ones and when we outgrow those, to seek out and discover still larger, deeper, more encompassing ones to pursue personally, and then share with others. A Huge Thank you!

Lisa Bu, Ph.D. said...


Thanks so much for your lovely and thoughtful message. This TED blog post includes brief explanation why I picked some books in my talk. It's interesting how people and books meet -- sometimes I find them, sometimes they find me :)

Yes, I still listen to my favorite Chinese Opera often and sing along sometimes. I also start to love Western opera through an American friend. She also wanted to become an opera singer but couldn't because of WWII. We've been to several operas together and like to joke: In the next lifetime, we'll be a diva and very arrogant :)

Thanks again for your kind message.


3dmatrix said...

你好 Lisa

I found your blog and video full of inspiration. I would love to share it with a lot of my Chinese friends, esp. my girlfriend. As blogger, facebook, youtube etc are blocked in China and a lot of my friends (including my girlfriend) here are not that good in English, I would like to know if you have thought of some way so that your blogs and videos could be shared with them, in Chinese ! It would be nice if you could kindly think about it and if it is already there then plz share the links.



Anonymous said...

Hello Lisa, I just watched your TED 'books' talk and wanted to say 'thank you'. It was beautiful. Made my day. Thank you.

Babkas said...

Hi, Lisa.

I'm a Brazilian teacher and you have no idea how my students love your talk about books. They can't live without their smartphones, they think they have all they need in those things. However, when they see your video, they realize that there is a lot to learn from books. Not only school books , the ones they have to read to do an exam, but books about everyone, everything, everywhere... Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience with books. I wish you could drop me a line so I could read it to my students. They would go crazy! Well, my name is Bárbara Oliveira and my email is
Obrigada (Thank you in Portuguese)

Lisa Bu, Ph.D. said...

Hi Bárbara,

I'm thrilled to learn that your students are more interested in books after watching my little talk. I wish all of them find a life-long friend in books.

Do you know that one of the most influential books for me is by an author in your country, "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho? A central idea in that book -- When you follow your dream with all your heart, all the mysterious forces in the universe will conspire to help you -- has become an inspiration for me. Book is one of those forces in the universe. Use it, and use it well.