#jasonsilvawinchester – well, that just happened

So yesterday, we got some last minute good news. That good news was promptly followed by what is possibly the best beginning to a school year in the history of school.

Jason Silva, a film-maker, a TV presenter, a futurist and performance philosopher, had been in Dubai for a few days. He’s been such an inspiration to us all for a long time that, you know, the possibility of him being in the same city as us was kinda…kinda ridiculous in itself. On a whim, my English teacher emailed him saying what an absolute pleasure it would be for us if he passed by our school at some point in his trip.

It was a pretty long shot but the fact that Jason even considered it given his busy schedule was exciting enough, but the fact that at exactly 3:21pm, on the 4th of September, I received an email from my English teacher in supersized font practically screaming through the computer screen that JASON SILVA WAS ACTUALLY GOING TO VISIT OUR SCHOOL-

Yeah. I still can’t wrap my head around it, let alone talk about it with a fraction of the eloquence with which Jason indulged our intellectual fantasies.

It was just amazing. This video is one of his many incredible snippets of inspiration that have – you know, fittingly – inspired me and some of the most brilliant people I know to be on the warpath for daily intellectual immersion.

And the best part was how absolutely humble Jason was. Throughout the whole thing, he seemed as enthralled as we were.

That’s something.

Hell, I got my little commonplace book signed by him! And I got a hug! I won’t lie, I was unashamedly squealing, but so was everyone else. When he first walked through the door, I’m not joking, my heart actually stopped for a little while. Someone we’ve only seen in videos, someone who has brought tears to my eyes and made me actually sob with the sheer passion of his words, his awe-inspiring honesty, in the flesh, before me, talking to me, making eye-contact with me, freaking hugging me!

I’m not the only one who feels this way. The hashtag #jasonsilvawinchester is littered with people who were as overwhelmed as I was. The head rush of intellectual ecstasy is still so mind-boggling, 12 hours after his entrance into our school, and the fact that it was lovingly instigated by such a genuinely good human being makes it even better.

I wish this man – who encouraged us to keep in touch with him and patiently, even happily, entertained all our fangirling – all the luck in the world, and all the popularity that his work demands and deserves.

One day, I will meet him again, and I will have made something of myself. We all will. And until that day, I have fond memories, hastily jotted notes, a couple of autographs, pictures, a hashtag, and the ghost of possibly the best hug I will ever receive to keep me going.

Here’s to you, Jason. Thank you for everything.

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4 thoughts on “#jasonsilvawinchester – well, that just happened

  1. jason silva is definitely bright. he seems blindly optimistic though but I’m sure he has an answer to that. maybe we need that to balance out today’s negatives in the mainstream press.

    1. That’s what I think too. We need blind optimism at this point – though I wouldn’t really call Jason’s perspective blind, he’s too knowledgeable for that.

      All the cynicism is overwhelming us as a species. I mean, cynicism is good and all, but not as a default.

  2. I enjoyed reading your blog post, Neiha. Yes, I too think that it’s about time we have genuine, unapologetic, unabashed optimism for a change.

  3. Honestly speaking, I’m not completely sold on this all-out optimism initiative. It can act as a great catalyst at times but, sometimes, at can also lead straight to disaster. As with many things, it’s all about balance. We all know how thin the line between realistic optimism and over-optimism is. And this line can best be described as the tangent to the circumference which is dictated by the radius of realism (my apologies, this engineering-specific Mathematics is starting to influence my verbal expression too much).

    Take the Volkswagen Phaeton as an example. A magnificent car which, sadly, had it’s conceptualisation based on an over abundance of optimism. Hence, despite the flawless execution of the concept, the Phaeton has always stood as Volkswagens’s best engineered yet worst selling car. The end result is a brilliant piece of automotive engineering which, sadly, isn’t destined to ever have its brilliance recognized. I’m just saying that, seeing as we must be unabashedly optimistic and take risks in order to progress, whenever we do head towards that extremity – we must practice caution.

    Regarding Jason Silva, I must say that we need more people like him in order to introduce the youth to the TEDx enterprise. I could be mistaken, but I doubt if the majority of TEDx events revolve around new adults. I hope the TEDx Winchester events go some way in helping plug this hole. After all, it’s us young adults who are in the best position to utilise ideas which are produced at TEDx and, ultimately, carry on the TEDx and TED enterprises. Last but not the least, that was an excellent blog post Neiha. I look forward to reading the next one.

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