Southeast Missouri State University student publication

TEDx speakers talk about time

Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Graduate Assistant for LGBTQ+ Education Rane Belling speaks at the Southeast Missouri State University TEDx Talk on March 3.
Photo submitted by Rane Belling

As music played, attendees settled into their seats in the Wehking Alumni Center on March 3, and one central theme came across: time.

For this year’s Southeast Missouri State University TEDx Talk, it was just about time to talk about the pressing matters of society.

Four speakers presented at the event, each given the chance to personally describe problems they have faced in life under the flexible theme of time.

TEDx is a non-profit organization which allows community members across the world to organize their own events to host speakers on numerous topics.

On this occasion, the topics ranged from individual struggles to community needs.

Southeast Communication studies alum Rane Belling, a non-binary individual, said they did not face the difficulties most members of the LGBTQ community faced, but rather they came from a very supportive household. Belling insisted on “speaking up, and not speaking over.”

“I’m not saying I never had pain. I’m asked all the time to be the voice for an entire community,” Belling said.

Belling spoke about how all the forms of communications in the world showed how humans tried to come together, and this represents how individuals in society ought to also be brought together.

Substance-abuse specialist Heather Williams spoke on her desire to find a place in helping people at risk of suicide. Williams said she attended a conference in Kansas City in recent years and was faced with the difficult revelation her fellow attendee had considered suicide.

Over the years, she has been motivated to get people to talk to others about suicide prevention.

Professor Linda Garner spoke on “slow health care,” or the practice of holistic medical care. This idea comes from a movement that has developed traction in multiple fields. It was inspired in the food industry, named in opposition to “fast food.”

However, this looks at time spent in doctoral care, Garner said, as “time invested” rather than “time spent.”

“The amount of time… is viewed as an investment versus an expenditure. It’s about spending the right amount of time with the patient, not worrying about if it’s too much or too little,” Garner said.

Southeast alum Wesley Cox talked about his standing in society as an African American, in a speech titled “The Minority Report: Doing the ‘White’ Thing.”

Cox talked about his high-school experiences, and his time both in class and in athletics. As a member of the swim team, he said he found himself questioning the history of a lack of participation by African Americans in swimming.

He referenced an image of a 1960s hotel pool where a manager was trying to drive the white and black swimmers out of the pool.

He said he found opposition from other African American high schoolers for taking advanced placement courses and “acting like a white person.”

“This decision landed me in a place where I was the minority. But was weird was I wasn’t getting those looks from a distance from the kids in those classrooms. Actually, most of those kids became some of the closest people in my life. It was my fellow black students in the hallways, and the ones who would talk about me at lunch ... saying I was too much like a white person for being in those classrooms,” Cox said.

Cox said he has since learned to be his own person and embrace himself for who he is.

Audience member Brent Smith described having a TED talk in the area as “a dream come true.” Rather than having to drive miles to get to one of the events, Smith said this allowed him to see the events he enjoyed watching over the internet.

“Pay attention, listen [to] exactly what each person has to say. Because each person is individual, each person is different, and they’ve got an individualized story,” Smith said.

Smith said the attraction was the variety of content and the depth it possessed. At the events, Smith said audience members find something that “excite and ignite something in you.”