This TED talk from 2009 has been viewed over 11 million times and is ranked among the top 20 most viewed TED talks of all time.
It is a powerful reminder that the underrepresentation of cultural differences may be dangerous.
Dangerous? Indeed so.
In this talk, Adiche explains that as a young child, she had often read American and British stories, where the characters were primarily Caucasian.
Now, I loved those American and British books I read. They stirred my imagination. They opened up new worlds for me. But the unintended consequence was that I did not know that people like me could exist in literature.”
Listening, empathy and truly understanding the “other” as a nuanced person with perspectives, memories, dreams, loves and fears, is the heart and soul of true relationships.
When we listen to the stories of those who are unlike us, we can enter into true relationship with them.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian born author who is an alumnus of Yale, Princeton and Harvard.
You can see the original TED talk here.