Culture TED Talks

Sorry, I forgot your name: David Hornik at TED2012

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Photo: James Duncan Davidson

“I forget names,” says David Hornik. “I forget them all the time, every day. And I thought everyone did.” But he realized (after forgetting a very important name) that his name-blindness was actually a symptom of another condition: his dyslexia.

And it made him think: What other disabilities do we have, that other people don’t see, that causes others to assume the worst in social situations?

“When I forget your name, you just think I’m an idiot, or a jerk. I have an invisible disability and you assume the worst.” And he says: there are millions of people like this, people with OCD, or they’re bipolar or on the spectrum,  and they experience this same thing every day, “where people make certain assumptions without understanding the underlying cause.”

“So I’ve tried really hard to give people the benefit of the doubt when there’s more than one explanation to how they’re behaving. This week, you’ll catch me glancing at your nametag. Please know: I still love you, I just can’t remember your name.”