TED Conversations

Andrea Morisette Grazzini

CEO, WetheP, Inc.


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Are grownup bullies teaching kids how to bully?

Media personalities like Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olberman make a living by catalyzing the ire of their audiences through their incendiary tactics.

Leaders themselves, from pastors to politicians to parents to Tea Partiers and Black Panthers square off against different others.

Sparks are a flying, to say least.

And new movies like "The Hunger Games" and "Bully" provide brutal images that imply youth brutality can be catalyzed by adult cultures where competitive vitriol prevails.

Meanwhile, in the real world, communities and schools struggle to manage the bully-culture that has lead to increasingly more mental health concerns, if not more suicides by ostracized kids.

So, folks.

Who's to blame for bullying: kids, adults, both?
Who should lead the demise of cross-country bullying?
And the $10K Q: How?

Bullying, it seems knows no bounds. Thus, I hope this conversation doesn't get too bogged down on specific groups who suffer from bullying, but more on the larger contagions that seem to infecting many different segments of society.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts --


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    Apr 12 2012: Short answer. YES. My friend at work told me of a chinese traditional saying about a young king or prince being paraded through the street with no clothes on. All were praising the king and how great he was. One said "hey the king is naked!" All were in denial of the truth. We very much have a society of denial. We are forced not to say these things for various social and economic reasons. We will surpass this condition someday, 5, 10, 50, 100 or 500 years from now. I don't know when but I have faith that it is coming. We are one family, we must treat each other as one family. These leaders right now are stuck in the tribal ages.
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      Apr 14 2012: Andre,

      I believe your friend is referring to the Hans Christian Anderson story "The Emperor Has No Clothes."

      The story is an indictment on the social effects of denial. In fact, much social denial has more to do with the coercive effect of social norms. In other words, few who know the truth (and in fact, it is typically a "hidden majority" which does) will actually speak to it.

      So to your point about when humanity will surpass this condition, I'd say, when many more speak up to the truth. And, as with negative social norms that are sustained due to social silencing, this effect can be accelerated if more speak up.


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