"Everything happens for a reason" -- and other lies I've loved | Kate Bowler

  • Published on Jul 2, 2019
  • In life's toughest moments, how do you go on living? Kate Bowler has been exploring this question ever since she was diagnosed with stage IV cancer at age 35. In a profound, heartbreaking and unexpectedly funny talk, she offers some answers -- challenging the idea that "everything happens for a reason" and sharing hard-won wisdom about how to make sense of the world after your life is suddenly, completely changed. "I believe that in the darkness, even there, there will be beauty and there will be love," she says.
    Get TED Talks recommended just for you! Learn more at www.ted.com/signup.
    The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. You're welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with people you know. For more information on using TED for commercial purposes (e.g. employee learning, in a film or online course), please submit a Media Request here: media-requests.ted.com/
    Follow TED on Twitter: TEDTalks
    Like TED on Facebook: TED
    Subscribe to our channel: ru-clip.com/user/TED

Comments • 1 709

  • Satish Arockiaraj
    Satish Arockiaraj 18 hours ago

    May God bless her with the serenity to accept the things that cannot be Changed!! Long live you beautiful soul!!

  • Karen Henderson
    Karen Henderson Day ago

    what an amazing lady - I too was diagnosed with something rather nasty - and where as "things happen for a reason" may not be exactly the correct belief, I do believe that i have learnt a lot since the diagnosis, my appreciation of everyday has increased, friendship on a real level is healthier, I no longer fear death, I remember when I was told of my diagnosis saying "I can't die I have so much to do" I thought I was special but have now leant that none of us are special and in fact we are all dying! the minute we are born we are dying, so instead of being held in this state of why me, I have thrown myself into nurturing the loves in my life, my family, my friends and my career. I no longer fuss over the trivial stuff, and my mantra has now become "if it aint life threatening dont worry about it"..

  • immaSHRIMP
    immaSHRIMP Day ago

    you can't avoid life

  • Manuel Espinosa
    Manuel Espinosa Day ago

    Life is so hard, but sometimes we need to feel alive.

  • Conor M
    Conor M Day ago

    Gosh this was hard to listen to. I wish you the recovery you dream off

  • Juan Manuel Espinosa

    Life is so hard, but sometimes we need to feel alive.

  • papatyalar
    papatyalar 3 days ago

    where she is now?

  • low life xo tour
    low life xo tour 3 days ago

    I felt her pain 😥
    God bless u 🌹

  • Quanghuy Nguyen
    Quanghuy Nguyen 3 days ago

    It is a lesson for me.

  • Academic Tutor
    Academic Tutor 3 days ago

    In case you need help with your coursework, kindly contact through my email address prof.j.k2016@gmail.com

  • Xavier Sánchez
    Xavier Sánchez 3 days ago

    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • YourEnlightenedFriend


  • deep
    deep 6 days ago +2

    The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. -Isaiah

  • Mahziar Parsapour
    Mahziar Parsapour 6 days ago

    That's incredible!!

  • Emelinda Ike
    Emelinda Ike 7 days ago

    this is the best video i ever seen. you are great woman 🤗🤗

  • billi jeans
    billi jeans 8 days ago

    oh nice story
    i love it

  • Sarah Ezzeddine
    Sarah Ezzeddine 8 days ago

    You're a very nice strong woman
    Get well soon ❤

  • Capricious Men
    Capricious Men 10 days ago

    The only unreplaceable things in life will surely be lost. There are causes to be sure, but reasons why are all our own and in vain.

  • Justice Boofer
    Justice Boofer 10 days ago

    Planet Earth is a meat grinder. Sorry.

  • orci
    orci 11 days ago

    after watching, i just to live my beautiful life with love and serve

  • Silva Gomez
    Silva Gomez 11 days ago +19

    I can’t be the only one that start crying during the first 3 min

  • Giselle Santiago
    Giselle Santiago 11 days ago

    Wow. This spoke to me. Much love to this woman

  • ElsieJoy Davis
    ElsieJoy Davis 11 days ago

    Prosperity Gospel is dangerous gospel promoted by false teachers

  • Yorleny Maldonado
    Yorleny Maldonado 12 days ago

    I hope all the people out there fighting against cancer, win. My mom died from cervical cancer about two years ago, she was kind, lovely and had a beautiful soul; I'm still processing the trauma. This video encourauges me to move on even when I lost the person that I loved the most in my life. Kate, you're brave and life will rewards you with health and more love that you've ever received.


  • Leen
    Leen 12 days ago

    Most idiotic thing I've seen smh

  • Leen
    Leen 12 days ago

    See, the reason good things didn't come to you is because you dumped it just like that. Like have some patience

  • Wong hiunam
    Wong hiunam 12 days ago

    I am a foreigner,didn’t know english well and tried to understand with checking dictionary countlessly😂 .but still i got impressed and touched. Thank you for your fabulous speech🙏🏻

  • Infinite Truth
    Infinite Truth 13 days ago

    [He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed - and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving. -Quran 67:2

  • Thảo Thu
    Thảo Thu 13 days ago

    'I believe in the darkness, even there, there will be beauty and there will be.
    And every now and then, it will feel more than enough'

  • Agustin Yamamoto Kalm
    Agustin Yamamoto Kalm 14 days ago

    At first I didn't like this talk, it was excessively depressive. But it ended really good, deep and hopeful. One of my favorite TED Talks for sure

  • WildSandwich
    WildSandwich 14 days ago

    I'm sorry but the manner this generation regards themselves....the overdramatization..... The narcissism.....the way they speak....what they say....just all of it.

  • Khanh Huyen Nguyen
    Khanh Huyen Nguyen 15 days ago

    What does she mean by saying "An entire line of #blessed home goods". I am a non-native speaker so I don't understand it. Could anyone help me?

    • Khanh Huyen Nguyen
      Khanh Huyen Nguyen 14 days ago

      @Linda S Wong thank you so much Linda 😊

    • Linda S Wong
      Linda S Wong 14 days ago +1

      Khanh Huyen Nguyen means if you go to the store, they have cups, pillows, plates, posters and even clothing that day ‘Blessed’ on them.

  • Miel Tierno
    Miel Tierno 15 days ago


  • LS
    LS 15 days ago

    Ugh. No. Not here for the religious nonsense 🤦🏻‍♀️

  • Hala Ballout
    Hala Ballout 16 days ago

    Proud of you

  • Patricia Dobkin
    Patricia Dobkin 16 days ago

    Truth in love- nothing more is needed. Thank you for both.

  • shangolkhanian nian
    shangolkhanian nian 17 days ago +2

    looks like one those acting tests

  • Jonny Graham
    Jonny Graham 18 days ago

    Not everything happens for a reason. Bad things happen to good people. Dreams die. Millions are dead inside before they hit the grave. This good girl is a perfect example of a godless world we live in. It makes no sense.. my heart hurts it physically..hurts. just watching this. Wonder if its a sign that I'm next..

  • Vie Hermansson
    Vie Hermansson 19 days ago +7

    She literally spilled the tea.

    I hope she's doing well

  • jraywill
    jraywill 20 days ago +1

    THIS ISN'T WHAT A TED TALK WAS MEANT TO BE! As nice as her sentiments are, her "talk" would be much more at home on the Moth or some other such venue. This is utter BS and it is so disappointing to see that TED has devolved into wishy-washy, namby-pamby, mumbo-jumbo crap like this.

  • lee Roberts
    lee Roberts 20 days ago

    The book of job has brainwashed so many stupid people. The ironic part is it was a littary critique of theism in general hidden in a book of theism. The author of job would agree with this woman more then any proponent of "everything happens for a reason"

  • lee Roberts
    lee Roberts 20 days ago

    Every dies. Death doest care if you are or good or bad Hitler and gahdi Martin Luther King, and Vlad the Impaler it makes not matter what good deeds you perform they will be just as forgotten as you

  • Melissa Honeybee
    Melissa Honeybee 20 days ago +6

    This talk illustrates the lies the prosperity gospels are based upon. They are repugnant. Her talk was so poignant and ultimately, hopeful.

  • SuperDetune
    SuperDetune 20 days ago

    i also have cancer. (That said so that you don't think that its a throw-away comment when I say) ... Im praying for you.

  • Bonnie Bester
    Bonnie Bester 21 day ago

    9:00...isnt that ubsurd that people assume only bad things happen to bad people?!? I loved your Speech...God Bless you and may you have a long long life!

  • I am just me
    I am just me 21 day ago

    Wowvery beautifully and simply put!!💜

  • Obakam Tom-George
    Obakam Tom-George 22 days ago +3

    The most honest and heartfelt talks I’ve listened to in a while. I pray that you receive enough strength and the love will never fade! Keep living!

  • Elina Osherov
    Elina Osherov 23 days ago

    Life is chaotic, random, unpredictable, and makes no sense. There is no reason, there is no path, no destiny, no one "watching us from above". There is none of this nonsense made up by wise people in power (priests, prophets, etc) to fool the people and thus keep them in line. The sooner you realize that, the better you'll feel. You will appreciate every day as it goes by and do things because *you* believe you need to do them and not just because you want to be rewarded for doing them (which is a really bad approach, by the way; kind of like a child learning that if he cleans his room, he will get candy or something, whereas he should be cleaning it because it is for his own good, not living in a mess).

  • akhil kumar
    akhil kumar 23 days ago

    Good comes to good 👍

    • Elina Osherov
      Elina Osherov 23 days ago

      No. It doesn't. That was the whole point of this talk. Life is not a reward-based system. It is not a "system" at all, it just something that happens with us and animals and plants from the moment we're born to the moment with die.

  • SCL75
    SCL75 23 days ago

    Just WOW

  • Filipa Sousa
    Filipa Sousa 23 days ago

  • Tatiana S.
    Tatiana S. 24 days ago +1

    Everything indeed happens for a reason, but sometimes this reason is in our previous lives, not in this one.

    • Tatiana S.
      Tatiana S. 23 days ago

      @Elina Osherov This is what you believe in. I wrote something I believe in. I understand what the point of this talk was, it's just that I don't agree.

    • Elina Osherov
      Elina Osherov 23 days ago

      No. It doesn't. That was the whole point of this talk. Life is not a reward-based system. It is not a "system" at all, it just something that happens with us and animals and plants from the moment we're born to the moment with die.

  • Nader Khodadadi
    Nader Khodadadi 24 days ago +2

    God bless you, wish you lots and lots of health and happy days

  • IKap
    IKap 27 days ago

    I too began a similar journey nearly 2 years ago... Not been easy... Still feeling
    Out... Main difference is I don't consider myself a person of faith. Anyway your speech was moving, sensitive and honest. Great job, thank yoy

  • Tume Roba Boboo
    Tume Roba Boboo 28 days ago

    This literary made me cry. We are all weak and vulnerable and there is no shame in admitting it.

  • Faviola C
    Faviola C 28 days ago


  • najouha11
    najouha11 29 days ago +4

    I also have a child ..By becoming a mother, we think more about our child than ourselves. She is very honest .. her speech touched me :'( ;'( Such an amazing person !!

  • ሠይጣን ዲያብሎስ 666


  • Dan Mora
    Dan Mora Month ago

    God is so good. You have more than enough. Excessively in abundance. He won't let you get lost in what you think you want

    • Dan Mora
      Dan Mora 21 day ago

      When you haven't experience a profound sense if tragedy and loss and wondered why you got the shorted on blessings and had to experience this especially being someone who feels like they have done no wrong to anyone or themselves or even against an all powerful God like Jehova who is great in grace and mercy and love, you cant help but ask why me....
      But when you experience all of these things and remain faithful to him and not people or religions you experience how he shows you that you have the most of what you love, want and need.
      Almost losing her daughter she was brought down to nothing because she thought and remembered of her daughter who would need her and what if she wasnt here anymore what would she do?
      When you're in this position it's not the end of you cant end the story thinking about your loved ones being left alone..
      You end it with the power inside of you to either make the best out of it, or accept what is, or fight and do your best to get to the end loving that wife husband parents child cousin or whoever it or they are....

      It's part of everyone's journey and not everyone's story is the same
      Dont take my words with just what you see because there's something deeper than what your meaning of excessively abundant means. To you thinking is greater than what you have. There are things out in the world greater than what you and I can think and at the end of the day when you shut off your lights you sleep in peace with the faith that tomorrow everything will be okay. So much that you might not even purposely think about. You just expect it to be so. It's the same thing when you believe that God has your life under control no matter where your journey takes you and what you have to endure hes got you.the sun shines over the good and evil.
      One day we will be judged and one day we will be the judges or people and Angel's.

    • Elina Osherov
      Elina Osherov 23 days ago

      So she only *thinks* she doesn't want to die and leave her son motherless?? That's ridiculous.

  • Na- L
    Na- L Month ago

    I want to learn the English language and I cannot find someone to speak it with me, and all that occurred to me is that I am writing a comment. I ask someone to help me to speak with me in English. Is anyone volunteering and speaking to me for information? I am a university student and I wrote this comment in Arabic and translated it in English🥺 this is my snap « qtar444 «