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TEDx UNHSalon: Ideas worth spreading to student leaders

By Kyle Kittredge, Contributing Writer

Can someone be happy and grateful at the same time? What does it mean to be happy or grateful?

David Steindl-Rast answered these very questions in his TEDx Talk, shown in a video at University of New Hampshire’s TEDx UNHSalon series in the MUB from 7:30-8:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

TEDx Talks are presentations led by a person talking about anything they want to an audience. Their motto is ideas worth spreading.

“Our program is officially licensed by the folks at TEDx. The word ‘Salon’ in the title is included because that is the kind of TEDx license we have,” said Nate Hastings, the coordinator of Student Organizations and Leadership. “The talks are chosen by the facilitators and approved by me to make sure there is enough content for a healthy discussion about leadership themes to talk place after watching the video.”

In Steindl-Rast’s TEDx video, he discussed happiness and how it relates to gratefulness. Are they connected? If so, how?

“We know people who have everything that it would take to be happy but they are not happy because they want something else or more of the same,” Steindl-Rast said.

“And we know people that have lots of misfortune that we ourselves would not want to have and they are deeply happy, because they are grateful.

“So it is not happiness that makes us grateful,” Steindl-Rast continued in the video. “It is gratefulness that makes us happy.”

With this he led into his discussion of the two terms, defining them and proposes his method of “stop, look, go,” to learn to be grateful. What Steindl-Rast means is that we are so caught up with looking and going but not stopping and appreciating something, which is what it is to be grateful.

Brandon Thomas, an academic coordinator in the athletics department, facilitated the discussion on Steindl-Rast’s talk. He was thrilled to lead it.

“Willing to talk to students about happiness and ones that are eager to learn this at 7:30 a.m. is really great,” Thomas said.

Thomas has also seen Steindl-Rast’s talk before and believes it is “very appreciative of the little things.”

Once the video was over, Thomas opened up the floor to the students. He further aided by asking questions to the group of students, getting them to open up about their opinions on it.

Some students engaged, offering their input.

Jessica Snowdon, a junior biology major, said, “I definitely learned a lot on how to think of my life and I mean there’s not going to be a huge shift now because of this talk, but I feel encouraged to take those stops and think more.”

When asked if she would recommend it to any other students she said, “I would. I think these talks are a whole new opportunity that we’re not getting in our classes and these are things people aren’t talking about and are the most important things,” she added.

“I think it is very important for students to take advantage of as many opportunities as they can, both academic and co-curricular, during their time in college,” Hastings said. “I think leadership programs such as TEDx UNH Salon are very important because they challenge students to think differently about what they do on a daily basis.

“It’s a great way to start your morning,” he added. “You watch an inspiring talk and get a chance to discuss the talk with fellow students who have chosen to be there at 7:30 in the morning.  Oh, and you also get a free continental breakfast.”

On April 7, Hastings will be facilitating a talk on Ash Beckham’s talk “We’re All Hiding Something, Let’s Find The Courage To Open Up.”

On April 21, Dave Zamansky, the assistant director of the MUB for Programs and leadership, will facilitate a talk on Charlie Todd’s Improv Everywhere.

TEDx UNH Salon talks are held approximately every other Tuesday morning in the MUB.

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