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How we can help the “forgotten middle” reach their full potential | Danielle R. Moss

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You know the "forgotten middle": they're the students, coworkers and regular people who are often overlooked because they're seen as neither exceptional nor problematic. How can we empower them to reach their full potential? Sharing her work helping young people get to and through college, social activist Danielle R. Moss challenges us to think deeper about who deserves help and attention — and shows us how to encourage those in the middle to dream big.

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26 Comments on How we can help the “forgotten middle” reach their full potential | Danielle R. Moss

  1. Explore imagination Define creativity // 14th March 2019 at 4:59 pm // Reply


  2. Charles Dickens // 14th March 2019 at 5:04 pm // Reply

    Force, unfortunately, is one of the main factors of success. Beethoven’s father would wake him up in the middle of the night to practice – and would beat him if he fell asleep. Brutal? Yes – but would Beethoven have become one of the 3 greatest composers in history without it?

    • Charles Dickens // 14th March 2019 at 5:30 pm // Reply

      +H N70 I’m not forgetting – some people just don’t have the innate genius that will be sparked into ignition by the catalyst of suffering. And most great genius writers that I can think of were depressive and/or alcoholic.

    • The Nesbitt Experience // 14th March 2019 at 5:37 pm // Reply

      Rhonda Rousey’s mom was the same way… woke her up with a beating to train her instincts!

    • Sumanth Lazarus // 14th March 2019 at 5:54 pm // Reply

      +Charles Dickens suffering aint no catalyst bruh.

    • Charles Dickens // 14th March 2019 at 5:58 pm // Reply

      +Sumanth Lazarus I won’t take seriously anything said by someone calling me “bruh”.

    • +Charles Dickens I have to admit there’s often a connection between suffering and high achievements. However I remember reading about a promissing child genius who gave up his talent completely because he hated the pressure his father put on him. If I remember correctly he end up working for New York metro as a clerk. It case of Beethoven greatness was achieved. In this case greatness was destroyed. I believe the latter case happens more often (but who knows….)

  3. Sumit V Bhardwaj // 14th March 2019 at 5:05 pm // Reply

    Thank you for sharing this Ted Team.


  4. Your Favorite Lifecoach // 14th March 2019 at 5:22 pm // Reply

    We killed the middle class, then they got mad and elected trump..

    • Sumanth Lazarus // 14th March 2019 at 5:52 pm // Reply

      working class; more like shrunk the middle class.

    • Yeah not going to lie, and this sounds about exactly as dumb as it is. Which is I basically voted for him out of sheer spite for how fucked-up everything already is.

      People who had straight-up had enough with the political system, and the unspoken masses of people who’s livelihoods were taken by automation in recent years were probably some of the larger contributors to his unprecedented victory.

  5. KBo Essentials // 14th March 2019 at 5:22 pm // Reply

    Good outlook on the MIDDLE! I can definitely say I’m part of the middle….

  6. Abraham Sabino // 14th March 2019 at 5:22 pm // Reply

    I really enjoy those videos

  7. Mindprovement // 14th March 2019 at 5:27 pm // Reply

    A sense of organizational purpose and hard work is the answer!

  8. When will ted come for a talk?

  9. Kurt E. Clothier // 14th March 2019 at 6:04 pm // Reply

    I’m so glad you are working to help this overlooked group! I’ll do what I can to keep up the fight.

  10. GuitarZombie // 14th March 2019 at 6:18 pm // Reply

    Why do you think they are in the middle?

  11. Jeni Watkins // 14th March 2019 at 6:20 pm // Reply

    I was one of those kids. I had the intellect, just not the drive. I was bored in school. Not enough challenge! So i fell through the cracks. But i did okay in life eventually. But i do wonder what i could have done had i really tried

    • Moaning Potato // 14th March 2019 at 7:45 pm // Reply

      Jeni Watkins I can totally relate. Even though I’m “only” 26 I feel like I could do a lot better if I really had the drive or motivation.

    • theluschmaster // 14th March 2019 at 8:25 pm // Reply

      I 100% relate .. I often look at others who had the support throughout their childhoods to explore their intellect, talents and interests and often wonder – if only .. but hey .. all is not lost .. this is my predestined journey and there are some miracles I have to create .. I have accepted my purpose.

  12. Clayton Watkins // 14th March 2019 at 6:35 pm // Reply

    Great talk, minus the small amount of Identity Politics. I would still recommend to watch.

  13. She had me until she started with the identity politics. Also, trying to use wording to force kids into college is not always the right thing to do. College really isn’t for everyone. Nor should it be continued to be presented like the end all be all.

  14. Explore imagination Define creativity // 14th March 2019 at 7:30 pm // Reply

    I replied this on someone’s comment, but I think I summed up some points in the video somewhat well, so here is a shortened version:

    It is impossible to have everyone live like kings and queens. But that isn’t the point here. The point is to improve the middle class’s standard.

    Just like it has been happening naturally over time we get better technology, better education, better standard of living.

    What I mean is that 800 year ago the average middle class citizen was living much more poorly than today. Back then they still had to worry about lots of diseases and poverty and attackers and their homes were basically shacks and their food is nothing like today’s… I could go on and on.

    Today the average person is considered to live a better life than even 100 years ago.

    We still have sooooooooooooooo many problems we have to fix, if we can, to keep progressing.

    The idea discussed in the video is that we can accelerate the growth of our middle ground by “expecting more of it” and giving it more attention. Simply encouraging the ‘good but not excellent’ students to keep growing. If good students were getting B’s we should encourage them to get B+’s. If the average working citizen had a job earning 18$ and hour, we push them to get a job for 20$ and hour. Etc. Etc.

  15. Sharing, Justice and Peace for All

  16. Equality is much more complex. The bottom can be forgotten. The middle has to support the top. All is broken if one is.

  17. theluschmaster // 14th March 2019 at 8:19 pm // Reply

    my location is not my destination – one of the most useful @TEDx videos by far ..!

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