It’s all about Education – Isabel Allende

As a consequence of watching this short ted talk video below, I was blown away by the sheer personality of Isabel Allende. And, not just her prowess as an author. Inspiration is rife throughout this piece. In fact, I truly hope you take the time to watch it all the way through. However, I am sure you will because she holds the viewer/listener spellbound with her humour and intelligence and most of all, with her dedication to her fellow human beings, to women and the definition of feminism, to creativity and to passion.

If you are wondering how I came to choose this topic, I have to admit it was purely by coincidence. I belong to the U3A or the University of the Third Age, an international movement which originated in France. At a later stage of its existence, the U3A in the United Kingdom, recognised most people of retirement age have something to contribute. Consequently the movement was modified with emphasis on sharing without formal educational links and spread.

Belonging to our Townsville branch I have been amazed at what is on offer, from quilting to science, art, and languages. Particularly interesting are some of the ted talks that come to the members on a weekly basis to peruse at home. They are incredibly varied but this particular one struck a cord and makes me want to do so much more as a community member because there is so much in the world needing all of us to do our part.

Australia has members in every state and territory and there probably are difference from these to others all over the world. What remains as a core is the further education and stimulation of mainly retired members of the community, or those in their third ‘age’ of life.

This was part of the email I received about this ted talk:

No doubt you have heard of Isabel Allende, born Isabel Angélica Allende Llona, in Lima, Peru but whose family moved to Santiago, Chile. This helped to shaped her thinking, her goals. During part of her career, she had a job translating romance novels from English to Spanish. However, she was fired for making unauthorised changes to the dialogue of the heroines to make them sound more intelligent. I think this says a lot about who she is.

In 2008, Isabel Allende received the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters from San Francisco State University for her “distinguished contributions as a literary artist and humanitarian”. This too says a lot about who she is. I sincerely hope you watch the ted talk.

It inspired me. What inspires you? I would love to know.

Questions for me? Want to share your views and ideas? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and I will get back to you.

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Ciao till next time,


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  1. Love you post Barbara! And I loved the Ted Talk by Isabel Allende – she was hilarious, and very intelligent. I take one exception to her statement about forgetting about teaching old men – that we need to die off – although that made me laugh a lot and some old guys do need to die off. I think of some politicians for starters. LOL. But not all of us old men desire to live in a patriarchy. I’ve always wanted to see equality and have supported women professionals and women’s issues. And I think there are more men like me out there. As a Father, I helped to raise a strong and independent Daughter. Perhaps that’s the best contribution I could make 🙂

    • I agree completely lol Thank you for such a thoughtful reply. I think it’s about the right people in the right position. I think it’s long past time we looked at the person and what their hearts and minds offer.

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