Poet Alok Vaid-Menon Says Success Is Overrated in This Inspiring TED Talk

Often, activists and fellow travelers try to appeal to the dominant discourses of their context to justify their work, but poet Alok Vaid-Menon is having none of that. In this TEDx talk, the artist delivers a damning indictment of the ideology of “success,” arguing that the drive to “succeed” is complicit in some of the greatest historical and present injustices. It’s particularly relevant that his words were delivered at Middlebury College, a small liberal arts college in Vermont that costs $60,000 a year to attend. Vaid-Menon isn’t just speaking of the aspiring professional elite, he’s speaking to them.

If this impressed you as much as it impressed me, Vaid-Menon regularly publishes new poetry at on his Tumblr. He’s also a part of Dark Matter Rage, a duo of queer South Asian performers that includes fellow performer Janani Balasubramanian.

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