Shah Rukh Khan's speech for TED viewers parallels his experiences as a superstar with humanity, and emphasizes the importance of love in making humanity greater.
Khan is one of the biggest celebrities in the world, known for his extensive work in Indian cinema. He begins his speech by discussing this fact, using humor to tell the audience that since many of them do not recognize him or his work, he "feels sad for them." His lighthearted introduction ends with him saying that humanity is an aging movie star – grappling with the newness around it, wondering if it got it right in the first place, and still trying to find a way to keep shining regardless.
Khan goes on to explain how he was raised, born in a refugee colony in New Delhi. He lost his parents at a young age and said that as he was growing up, he saw the world in simple terms – governments try to help people, science was simple and logical, and the list went on. When he moved to Mumbai and worked as a movie star in his thirties, his perspective shifted. Suddenly, definitions became more fluid, work began to define people, and systems seemed less reliable. He felt this was exacerbated by the rise of the Internet, where many seemed to be in a "village-like enclosure of thought and judgment," ironically in the same space where the expansion of ideas and dreams was also rampant.
Khan centers his speech in a message of love – emphasizing its importance in moving humanity forward in a direction that is compassionate and inclusive. He exclaims that instead of choosing to build walls, people can and should break barriers and welcome others in.
Khan ends his speech by bringing it full circle – "The future you has to be like an aging superstar who has been made to believe that there is a possibility of a world which is completely, impossibly, in love with itself."
Cultivating Humanity Through Love
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