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New TED Talk discusses how to be more accepting of death

Other | Friday 9th February 2018 | David

Let’s face it, we’re all going to die one day. Sure, none of us want to, but we can’t exactly prevent the inevitable. In a brand new TED Talk, Michelle Knox, who works in for the Westpac Banking Corporation in Sydney, Australia, feels that death should actually be a widely discussed topic rather than a social taboo.

Knox begins by discussing how she strongly disagrees with how death has become such an uncomfortable topic of discussion in western culture that it is hardly ever talked about until it actually occurs. Her argument is that since we are all going to go at one point, we should be more open and accepting of our inevitable deaths so that we can become more comfortable and less afraid of what we know will happen to us all.

With that out of the way, she then talks about the importance of writing a will, something which forty-five percent of Australian adults fail to do. If you fail to leave a will, as she explains, the government will instead carve up your estate however they see fit. So unless you want your savings going towards persons unknown, you had best write a will.

Towards the end of her speech, Knox discussed funerals, and how they should serve as both a celebration of the life of the deceased in addition to farewell ceremonies. She outlines the importance of outlining the specifics of your own funeral in your will, seeing as you will not be around to help organise it.

True to her word, Knox filled her thirteen-minute talk with witty jokes and punchlines, despite discussing what many would see as a morbid topic. One moment which particularly stood out was when she mentioned that her own will states that she is leaving the four-foot wooden giraffe in her living room to the person who helped her carry it halfway across the world.

Whilst death will probably never truly be an easy topic to address, Knox is confident that we will eventually overcome the overwhelming taboo surrounding the topic, so that we can become more comfortable both with our own deaths and the grief we feel when we lose a loved one. Whilst the theme of her talk might initially seem off-putting, this could be one of the most essential TED Talks of 2018.

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