How to love and be loved | Billy Ward | TEDxFoggyBottom


Translator: Ilze Garda
Reviewer: Ariana Bleau Lugo Here’s the deal: Life is really all about love. I’m not just saying that
because I’m a father of a newborn baby; I’m saying that because
as a teacher and as a therapist I’ve seen people basically
choose between two things: love or something else. What I’ve witnessed
and experienced is this: When people choose love, they always choose right. I was asked to speak today
on the topic of illumination, and it made me think about the way
the light inside us all can shine. My favorite way is through our love which can illuminate in our relationships. The most important relationship
that we’ll ever have, is the relationship
that we have with ourselves. And next comes the relationships
that we share with one another. As simply as I can put it, we are here, on this very Earth,
to love and to be loved – and love is light. In a second, what I’d like
to do with you today, is a brief, relaxing,
guided-imagery exercise, where I’m going to have you
close your eyes and consider three expressions of light
that can return us to love. I’m going to have you close your eyes
and consider three items, and then associate each item
with a person in your life. So, let’s get ready. Can I ask you to put
your feet flat on the floor, palms facing up in your lap, and when you’re ready, gently allow your upper eyelids
to meet your lower eyelashes. Close your eyes
and let’s everyone take a deep breath. Relax your shoulders. The first item I’d like you
to picture is the sun. Picture the sun in the big, blue sky,
feel the warmth of her rays, and consider how the sun
continues to show up every day, sharing its light and energy
unconditionally, even on a cold February morning. Is there somebody in your life
that reminds you of the sun? Somebody that loves you unconditionally? Picture that person now
and feel their love. The next item I’d like you
to picture is a lighthouse. See the light emanating
from the top of the structure at the ocean’s edge
where the sea meets the land, and remember its primary purpose: To help guide sailors and boaters home. Is there somebody in your life
that helps guide you home? To your authentic self? To the truth of who you are? To the person that you’re meant to be? To the path that you’re meant to be on? Picture that person now and consider the direction
that they’re encouraging you to head in. The last item I’d like you
to picture is a disco ball. See the light bouncing off of it, think of the energy in the room
where you might find this unique object, maybe you hear
your favorite song playing. Is there somebody in your life
that reminds you of a disco ball? Somebody that shows up
with the fun, loving energy wherever they are, wherever they go? Picture that person now and consider how they are encouraging
you to live and love. Gently float open your eyes. Today I’d like to share a story with you
about a student of mine. His name was Daniel. I met Daniel the very first year
I was a classroom teacher. I had no experience as a theology teacher
in an all-boys prep school, and somehow this little guy,
this 103-pound wrestler, he became more of a teacher to me
than a student, because he showed me
and everybody in the school building how to shine their love and their light by being an example of how it’s done. You see, the same year
that I met this little guy was the same year
that I was cut from the NFL. Felt like a little bit of my light
had been taken from me when the Baltimore Ravens told me
I can no longer be their quarterback. I had trained with them all summer,
I felt like a kid in Disney, I was playing and competing
with some of my childhood heroes in stadiums
that I had only visited as a fan. Playing in the NFL
was an incredible experience, but at the end of the summer, a week before our first game,
on the last day of cuts, I was released. I had to return home to New Jersey
to figure out a new career. I had graduated
from Georgetown University with the degree in psychology,
so I guessed I could teach that, but I was hired
at an all-boys prep school to coach football and teach theology. It was kind of like a life course
for the incoming freshmen. Gave me the opportunity to teach the guys the importance of being kind,
caring and thoughtful. It really healed my broken heart. I loved teaching
as much as I loved playing football. And that’s where I met Daniel. He came into my classroom
like a little disco ball. He had an energy and a light about him
that everybody wanted to be around. Daniel connected
with everybody in the school. I used to love watching him
walk the hallways. His smile was reflected back to him
in every corner. Athletes, band guys,
cool guys, smart guys, teachers and coaches, all felt the love of this pint-sized,
103-pound wrestler. People loved Daniel because he was free. He was free to be himself, and most of us know
how difficult that can be. I remember when Daniel
found out it was my birthday during his freshman year. He took it upon himself to create
a homemade birthday card for me. He even taped a Starburst candy
and a pack of Wrigley’s gum to the inside. He presented it to me
in front of the class. Daniel was redefining cool, and he made it cool
to be thoughtful, caring and kind, and his classmates loved him for it. It was in this way
that our brotherly bond began. And it was during his sophomore year that Daniel started to campaign
for me to date his older cousin Lia, so that we could officially be family. (Laughter) He even brought her
to a wrestling match one weekend. I was only there
with about one other person, and Daniel had about 15 relatives
cheering him on that night. It was a beautiful night. Then Daniel came into school
the following Monday, and he was mad. He said, “Mr. Ward, you brought
your girlfriend to my wrestling match, when I brought my cousin
to introduce you?” (Laughter) I said, “Wow, Daniel, hold on a second! That girl happens to be my younger sister, (Laughter) and, second of all, I didn’t know you were trying
to play matchmaker that night.” It felt like a real compliment
to my teachings. My message of love and be loved
was really making an impact. For years, I’ve been practicing shouting commands
for the NFL football field, but I had been practicing
another message all along. I was never the type of football player
that was overly aggressive or tough. I never yelled at my teammates, and I never yell
at my students in the classroom. Some people say this may make
people walk all over you, but I believe otherwise. An older teacher once told me,
when I first began teaching, that I shouldn’t smile in the classroom
until after a few months have gone by. (Laughter) I guess the theory is that the students
would think I was tough, but I love to smile, and I have a different theory. I believe that
the toughest guy in the room is not the football guy; it’s the loving guy. It’s the most manly thing
that can ever be accomplished. It’s not that difficult to do, but it requires great thought and courage. I loved football because I thought
it was one of the finest team sports. When we’re on the field, playing together, relating as teammates, defending each other,
protecting each other, doing a little dance in the end zone
to celebrate the points we score – Football was really about relationships. And so is love. Love is a team sport. A team that we are all a part of. And on this team, Daniel is an all-star. But Daniel never had
the glory of an end zone dance, or even a dance at his junior prom. And that’s because his life
extinguished way too early. One night, during Daniel’s junior year, in February, he was rolling up the mats
with his wrestling buddies, and he collapsed in pain. Daniel suffered an aortic aneurysm, and he died
early the next morning in hospital. It was tragic. The date was February 7th, 2002. Exactly 12 years ago today. I don’t think it’s any coincidence
that I’m here today with the opportunity to share Daniel’s story with you. Daniel is my lighthouse. When the water is dark and dangerous, the lighthouse can provide
a warm and inviting light, almost as if to say, this way home. Daniel brought me home
literally by bringing me to his home. The night after he died,
I visited his family, along with the number
of other teachers from our school. We were all greeted
by Daniel’s cousin Lia, who thanked us for being there
during such a devastating time. I introduced myself
as Daniel’s theology teacher, and she replied, “Oh, you’re the one
that Daniel wanted me to marry!” (Laughter) It was kind of like a light went on. I ended up sitting with Lia and her mom, sharing stories of Daniel
and looking at pictures. It was a really difficult time
for us both, but it hard for me not to notice that Lia had the same passion
and energy for life that I saw in Daniel. I wish he could have seen us meet. Riding home that night, I quietly recalled
my last moment with Daniel. He was visiting my class. And like many times before, Daniel would just stroll right in. And because I was sitting behind the desk,
he came over to me, and we’re about the same height, and our shoulders bumped
into each other as we talked. I introduced him to the class as the 103-pound wrestler
who was having a great season, and the younger guys
just looked at him in awe. Here was this guy,
smaller than most of them, but he carried so much weight
and loving energy. On his way out
of the classroom that morning, Daniel turned over his shoulder
in his cool little way and said, “See you around, Mr. Ward.” Daniel died early the next morning. Couple of weeks later,
I thought I saw Daniel at school. The student was sitting
with [his] back to me, and it looked like Daniel. And for a moment
I believed that it was him. But soon the student stood,
and it obviously wasn’t Daniel. But to me the message was clear. The same love and light that I witnessed
and experienced in Daniel, could be found in everyone and everything. So I began to look for Daniel, to look for love
in everyone and everything, and at the crucial point in my life,
even in myself. Daniel was right when he said,
“See you around.” Because the same love in him
is within us all. Just as I tell my students back at school, there is so much goodness in you, and you are all, each and everyone of you, worthy of love and belonging, just as you are, imperfectly perfect. And once you begin open yourself to love, you will learn to see it everywhere, creating a peace, a freedom and a truth that will shift your overall,
entire experience. Think about it. If I stand right here
and I shift just a little bit, my view changes entirely. The same is true for love. If we can begin to make an effort to love and be loved
without any conditions, we will bring a whole new level of meaning to our relationships
and to our experience. I’m going to ask you
to close your eyes one more time. Picture the sun. Author Anthony de Mello writes: “Has the Sun ever said
to the Earth: you owe me. Look what happens to a love like that.
It lights up the whole sky.” Is there somebody in your life
that can use a little unconditional love? Picture that person now. Remember the lighthouse. Remember its primary purpose:
To help guide sailors and boaters home. Is there somebody in your life
that can use a little guidance, a little direction? Picture that person now. And, lastly, picture the disco ball. Daniel was free to be himself because he loved himself unconditionally. We could all reflect
a little bit of love back home, so that we can dance
like nobody is watching. Is there something in your life
that you’ve been waiting to do? Gently float open your eyes and smile. Twelve years ago, after Daniel died, I decided to ask his cousin Lia out
for dinner in his honor. We had so much to talk about, and I’m happy to tell you that,
four years after that, I asked Lia to marry me. She continues
to light up my life every day, Lia is my sunshine,
and now we have two sons. Our oldest is almost three,
and his name is John Daniel, whom we affectionately call J.D., and he’s our little disco ball. We also have another son,
who is just 12 weeks old now. His name is Casey Christian,
and he’s our little lighthouse. When people ask Lia if the boys will play football in the NFL
someday like their daddy did, she says, “Maybe.” But our only wish for them
is to truly live a life where they can love and be loved. Thank you very much. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “How to love and be loved | Billy Ward | TEDxFoggyBottom

  1. This Ted Talk not only had me in tears by the end, but I also found this truly inspirational. Thank you, Billy Ward & Daniel.

  2. When I am that much loving , people tend to take advantage of it. It is very expensive to be loving.

  3. The sun is my mum…the disco ball is my best friend…but I don't have a lighthouse in my life yet

  4. What if you dont have someone who loves you unconditionally the excersise with the sun dosent work.

  5. Never expected to hear this talk. Very interesting and aspiring. RIP Daniel. You sounds amazing.

  6. The important thing is not to think much, but to love much, and so to do what best awakens us to love.

  7. Sir, u say – When people choose love they choose right. I fall in love in a psychopath that still have me stuck in mental illness. What im saying is love is not always right, it depends on what you are in love in and whom.

  8. I've forgotten how to love people. I've pushed almost everyone out of my life and now I don't know who I am anymore. I just feel numb. When I think back 10 years ago it's like I was a totally different person. I use to be so happy and upbeat.

  9. I couldn't think of anyone who would be like a sun or light house or a disco ball in my life…….

  10. I have just broke up with my boyfriend and after watching this video I want to cry. He was my sun, my disco ball, my lighthouse, and now he decided to move on without me.
    I will love him forever.

  11. Watching I do YouTube videos basically some are project save the world some are about love

  12. My mom’s…she spent at least 50,000 to send me to college, and still loves me as I now work in a kitchen at a local natural foods store…thanks mom.

  13. When he asked to picture the person who acts like the sun in your life, I couldn't think of anyone, which is sad. But then, I realized I'm that person. Gosh, I love me for loving me.

  14. I agree with him but i also think it's important to qualify love: I believe love's most basic form is to wish someone well/genuine happiness. That's it. God bless y'all

  15. yeah well, reality just sinks in. I should hope to be loved. i am learning to work on myself. I am glad that i learning to love myself

  16. Wait this dude was a guidance counselor at my high school? S'cuse me??

  17. BLESS YOU 🙏 And Daniel for your Beautiful and inspiring message!!!

    LOVE ❤
    Flows through US ALL ☯❤☯

  18. If Loving not going to stop you from dying an early death what's the point. I think staying alive is more important than love.

  19. Thank you for your genuine speech and sharing. Tears well up in my eyes. I'm Buffalo from Taiwan.

  20. that's up there with one of the best speeches ive ever heard

  21. sometimes love doesn't come with a smile though. love isn't always kindness. sometimes it is expressed more subtely.

  22. This is the dude in the romantic comedy that’s dating the main character’s crush

  23. This is deep I’m 19 years old and love does play a big role in life. Even if it’s unconditional love.

  24. when he started talking about Daniel in the past tense, i chocked and was waiting for the hit

  25. If you want to be respected and beloved, look at the same way the last prophet used to deal and treat others with. (How He Treated Them) pdf

  26. (إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ سَيَجْعَلُ لَهُمُ الرَّحْمَٰنُ وُدًّا) صدق الله العظيم
    ودا: مودة ومحبة في قلوب الناس له

  27. (19:96)
    "Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – the Most Merciful will appoint for them affection and love."
    If you want to be respected and beloved, look at the same way the last prophet used to deal and treat others with. (How He Treated Them) pdf

  28. I’ve always been all three of those things he listed to others, but I’ve never had any of those for me. I don’t expect any love back. It would be nice, though.

  29. I love my kids father Ryan. I just realized this whole time he has been my lighthouse. Im so thankful to have a man like him in my life. He has brought me to the point of showing me that I needed to change. I had a lot to learn before I met him. And he has gotten me mentally on the right track so far. I admire him so much. Sometimes I feel I don't deserve him. He is so patient with me and he never judged me. He just wanted to love me and help me. And to bring out the best in me. I love you Ryan. Yes sometimes the way I delineate my love is so wrong. But Im tired of that. I want to show you something different. I know Im capable. I LOVE YOU. Forever and always

  30. Something to strive for… "One must see in every human being only that which is worthy of praise. When this is done, one can be a friend to the whole human race. If, however, we look at people from the standpoint of their faults, then being a friend to them is a formidable task." ~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Baha'i Faith

  31. Everyone here remember their boyfriend/girlfriend, while I am picturing my bestfriend.

  32. I think the main thing I extracted from this was "look for love." We often wont see it anywhere, but it's definitely there and if you make and effort to look, you'll find.

  33. I have sun and the lighthouse in my life as part of my amazing parents,all I need is a disco ball now

  34. I'd rather have knowledge than love. To be love? How old are you? Looking for love? Are you that lonely? Learn and read something new everyday. Love blinds you from reality. Love is just a feeling, a short feeling. It does not sustain that feeling 24/7, 365 days, for years to come, etc. And what happen when you don't find love? When you are not love? You just wasted your time. Be productive! Not childish looking for love…

  35. If u think tye Sun's a lady u dont kno much bout praising the Sun.(im literally wearing a Sloair teeshirt as i type this, that says "Do you even Praise?"

  36. So lovey and so true. The love you give is always without conditions and you fall in love in a bubble. The nature of the relationship is what holds the conditions, but the love you give never goes away and, if allowed, only grows bigger and into something new and unexpected, which includes a level of supporting one another through the challenges of love so that we can all experience it fully and safely knowing that the pain of it is always going to be worth the love that is forged unconditionally and never broken. When our presence resonates with unconditional love, we find we can support one another and have more abundance than even conceivable in this now moment.. The only condition preventing us living in our higher consciousness is the illusion of lack that is fed by fear. Turn forgiveness and love inward and, over time, it begins radiating outward in an unstoppable way. Given freely it can flow eternally ; energetically unstoppable. Open your heart, crawl in, and Namaste a while.🎶🐝🦄💕🔥💫🌪🌈🌊

  37. The reason I am watching this because I'm in a big dilemma. I love a person unconditionally he's the Sun,the light house & he's like a home. That person made me love myself,appreciate myself, he gives me happiness,inspires me. But the fact is He's an celebrity. He doesn't know me but he means everything to me. Like every single person reading this might be thinking that I'm crazy or being obsessed over a person who doesn't know about my existence. But no I just Love him. Is it wrong to have feelings for a celebrity? Is it wrong to Love him unconditionally? Does loving someone makes me crazy? I'm confuse cz I think its love. Tbh I want to hold his hands, kiss him, share feelings with him, share silence with him, I want to hug him tight everyday, I want to bring all the happiness for him, I want to see him smile & open up his pain to me but I clearly know that the things I am dreaming about ain't possible & maybe it will lived by someone else in the future whom he'll love. And truly I will always have best wishes for them. But now my biggest problem is that he always shows a smile but I know somewhere behind that smile he must be stressed out, he must be lonely bcz he can't have a normal life like other youngsters of his age, he works really hard. Yeah he's doing that bcz it was his dream, I think he needs some mental peace too. Everyday my only desire is to see him have a true smile. I want to be his light or I want someone to be his light. So stays happy, as long as he's happy. I'm happy to see him enjoying. Its the most wonderful thing for me. I don't wish much, maybe I might be little selfish to wanna see him once with my eyes so I can contain him in my eyes forever. I can live happily without any complains. People thinks I'm crazy, Am I really crazy? Is it only my infatuation? Then why do I cry, why do I want to cry while writting this or thinking about not having him? I don't know…I just want my answer, Is it wrong to Love him?

  38. I honestly judged myself super hard for clicking on this video but then he said that Daniel died on February 7th. That's my birthday, I was meant to watch this.

  39. I'm sorry to disrupt a such positive comment section but how come nobody mentioned "foggy bottom"? 😂

  40. I​ dont​ have​ anyone who love​ me
    Uncondition love,
    except my​ dad who pass​ away,
    That​ is​ only​ one my​ True​ love.

  41. Such truth. I needed to be reminded that to love takes courage. Thank you and God bless.

  42. i recently walked out of a relationship because i knew that i didn't deserve to be abandoned, misunderstood and so easily neglected. it's funny how i've grown to love and appreciate myself more when i was in that 1year+ relationship because i was there for myself, i loved myself enough to get through the breakdowns, loneliness, and loss without my s/o, even if he was part of my life at the time. i love myself enough to know that i will be fine on my own because for the last 10 months, i have learned that i am happier, much lighter and less anxious when i am alone. now i am content, i'm with good people who are supportive and family who loves me unconditionally, but most importantly, i am at a state where if i were to be in a new relationship, i would know what i deserve and i know that i should be the one asking myself if i like the person/ is this person good enough for me and not the other way 'round. <3

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