Relationship Advice From a TED Talk Speaker

Love is mysterious. Not to this guy!

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Dear Sir Willoughby,

My boyfriend and I started dating recently and everything’s great. However, I’m not getting along with his friends. What should I do?

Sincerely,
Rachel

Dear Rachel,

Since the dawn of civilization, man and woman lived in small tribes of hunter-gatherers. Even if tribes held opposing views on berry foraging tactics, they formed alliances to increase their chance of survival. For your relationship to survive, you must band together with his friends, even if you disagree on such a divisive issue. United you stand, divided you fall. What you choose will decide the fate of your relationship, and ultimately, mankind. Thank you.


Dear Sir Willoughby,

My girlfriend wants to be an Instagram model and makes me take all these photos of her in front of hipster-looking backgrounds. She spends more time on Instagram than she does with me. What should I do?

Sincerely,
Jake

Dear Jake,

From Michelangelo to Beyoncé, creativity is the most important ingredient in the recipe of genius. But what is genius, you ask? What is creativity? Those are ideas — and ultimately questions — worth spreading. Your girlfriend is an artist, and from your description, has potential to become the next Picasso. Imagine a world where every child can grow up to be a Picasso. Imagine a world where every child has access to clean hipster-looking backgrounds. Together, we can make that a reality. Together, we can give every child on earth an Instagram account, and ultimately, a life enriched with sponsored posts. We are all Picassos, and we all have the potential to make the world a better place. Thank you.


Dear Sir Willoughby,

My husband continues to mix the colors with the whites when doing the laundry. I tell him not to, but he’s so forgetful. I’ve tried everything, from taping a giant post-it note on the washing machine to even holding a family intervention, but nothing’s worked. What should I do?

Sincerely,
Beth

Dear Beth,

I come before you today not as a scientist, a four-time MacArthur Genius award winner, nor a seven-time Nobel laureate, but as a homo sapien. And by that, I know this much: husband and wife both have this thing called DNA, the building block of life. But, what is life, you ask? When the universe was created fifteen billion years ago, there was nothing. Then billions of years later, there was something. We call that something life. Your husband is alive. Just imagine that for a moment. Decades ago, he wasn’t alive. And now, he is. Nature works in mysterious ways. Like your husband, it’s always mixing colors to create new colors. But, what is color, you ask? I don’t know, but I do know that we must march on in search of a brighter future, a future free from color. A future where we’re just free. Together, we can make that world a better place. Thank you.


Dear Sir Willoughby,

I took your advice. I tried to bridge divides between my boyfriend’s friends and me by making hunter-gatherer metaphors. They didn’t work. He thought I was crazy, and we broke up. I don’t think I’ll ever love again. What should I do?

Sincerely,
Rachel

Dear Rachel,

What is love but a feeling? What is feeling but an artifact of the soul? What is an artifact but a thing? From Shakespeare to Haddaway, these questions remain a mystery to the geniuses of our time, including myself. To say that you’ll never love again is but poet’s talk for saying that you’ll love again. That, I definitely know the answer to. I hope this actionable advice is helpful. Remember, you can still make the world a better place. But, only together. Thank you.

P.S. I’m sorry about the break-up. My ex-wife divorced me decades ago and I’m still trying to figure out why :(