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During her summer internship in 2012, college-student Thao Phi was asked to deliver an in-house "TED Talk". She chose to speak about losing her mother in 7th grade, during a car ride, in this touching 6 minute audio reflection.


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  • nisha

    Dear Thao, you are living out a solid perspective and it is not easy. Hats off to you. Much love to your family.

  • Somik Raha

    Dear Thao, your sharing touched me deeply. After my daughter was born, I have noticed that I am so much more aware of the interdependency of life, how fragile and strong it is at the same time - we are all keepers of contradictions. Your sharing filled me with hope, that the resilience of the human spirit goes beyond the events it lives through.

  • Shail

    Thao, you're a remarkable young lady with so much wisdom, strength, courage and insight. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. You inspire us all to never take life for granted and to cherish each and every day. You speak with such compassion and confidence in your voice and you truly embrace life to the fullest. :)

  • Manisha

    Dearest Thao, you carry such wise words in your sincere and sweet voice! I admire your courage to share such a deeply personal experience in an authentic and open way. Your messages struck a deep chord with me and put things into perspective. Thank you.

  • bilkis yusuf

    what a wonderful story of love and caring of others

  • Susan Marie

    Thao, This has taught me to be more understanding towards my own Mother as we often disagree on world issues due to coming from entirely different eras. I already lost my Father when very young, however, my Mother is still here. Thank you for reminding me of the here and now.

  • sheetal

    Dear Thao, Your inner strength is reflected in this sharing and your openness is inspiring. Thank you for this reflection. Love and hugs!

  • Alan

    What a remarkable presence you have...it even comes across through an audio recording. It isn't often that I'm so consciously learning from someone less than half my age, but your six minutes of reflection has been very instructive. Thank you for your depth of sincere sharing, of who you are and the wisdom you've already gained in this life. Your authenticity alone is of great service.

  • Sujatha

    Thao, it was a really beautiful talk and made me pause and think about my own personal journey. Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration and for sharing this with us.

  • Trishna

    Thao, thank you so much for opening up and sharing such a deeply personal learning journey with us through this talk. It touched me at the core and I feel grateful that you took the time to share it.

  • arathi

    Thao - what an amazing story. thank you for speaking with such humility and grace.

  • Amit

    Thao - I am floored by your strength, wisdom and insight. Thank you for sharing such a deeply intimate and vulnerable story to sow seeds of wisdom for all of us: “Grief can be a burden, but also an anchor. You get used to the weight, how it holds you in place.” So let us be grateful for what we have and transform our grief into an anchor that will ground us in goodness!

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  • Thao loves to do small acts of kindness.  In her honor, perform an act of beauty for someone you don't know.
  • Read some reflections on death, and contemplate on your relationship to it.
  • Don't take life for granted.  Send a note of appreciation to people you cherish the most -- today.

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