Thanksgiving is all about family and the stress and joy that come with reconnecting. Family is also the theme of Andrew Solomon’s “Love No Matter What” talk from TEDMED 2013, in which he explores the ways family and identity develop in the face of extraordinary circumstances. Solomon shares the deeply personal stories of parents whose children are different from them in surprising and poignant ways—children living with what society views as disabilities, gifted children, troubled children, children whose inner identities pushed cultural norms. The result is a touching look at how families negotiate love and acceptance for their children, and the importance of embracing identity. Solomon’s sometimes funny, sometimes heart-wrenching talk is one of the most inspiring TED has to offer, because, as he puts it, he studies “how much love there can be when everything appears to be going wrong.” For more on Solomon, check out his interview with Dr. Joe Wenke on BookTrib.

Recommended Reading:

Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, Andrew Solomon (Scribner, 2013)

Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon - CopySolomon’s astonishing book about the universality and acceptance of difference within families was also the subject of Solomon’s talk. Far From the Tree examines what it’s like to raise children in extreme, and sometimes isolating, circumstances and the many ways love can overcome obstacles.