TED Conversations

Bill Matthies

CEO, Coyote Insight, LLC

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Do humans find it easier to hate than to love?

Reading the paper this morning, which included the usual stories of war and personal violence that occur all over the world, I wondered if humans are more inclined to hate, disagree, dislike, fight, etc., than we are the opposite.

Whatever you think are we changing, getting better or worse, or are we pretty much what we've always been?


Closing Statement from Bill Matthies

Thanks to all of you who participated in this discussion. This is one of those questions where no clear answer is likely, not at least one we'll all agree on, and I enjoyed reading opinions I hadn't considered previously.

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  • Dec 8 2012: "Love is a given, hatred is acquired"
    The history of humanity is all about gaining something, is it not ?
    I don't remember who, someone said : human history is a nightmare i want to awake from .

    Are we changing ? I don't know, but certainly we can and we'd better :)
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      Dec 8 2012: Hi Natasha,

      I think we're changing although the rate and direction of change is sometimes questionable. And likewise I think humanity is about gaining although what constitutes "gain" can be open to debate as well.

      Similar to the discussion I've had with Mr. Park, I wonder how you living in Ukraine might affect your perspective on change relative to mine living in the US or his living in Korea? Einstein taught us that the appearance of most everything is subject to where we are when we observe the thing or event. It would seem then that our perspective on "gains", "losses", "rates of change", etc., might differ as well for the same reason.

      Kind of like the old story about the three blind men each touching a different part of an elephant, coming up with very different descriptions of the animal based on what they touched.
      • Dec 8 2012: Hi Bill,
        Your analogy with the three blind men touching different parts of an elephant reminds me this
        " Only he who comprehends the whole can also comprehend a part "
        We can comprehend the whole in spite of a rational evidence to the contrary. This 'whole' is you or me and any of us, no matter what country we live in. The question should sound like this : are you changing ?
        Be that change you want to see , that will be enough.
        So... are YOU changing ?

        If you don't mind me asking : )
        Thank you !
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          Dec 9 2012: Hello natasha. The fact that you ask the question is proof that change is imminent. Thus the challenge of asking is not necessary. :) By the way, I like the way you think.
      • Dec 9 2012: "... the challenge of asking is not necessary."
        Agreed ! :)
        Sorry Bill , i shouldn't ask ... ignore my question.

        Thanks, Vincenzo !
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          Dec 9 2012: Hi Natasha

          Sorry for not getting back to you prior to you withdrawing your question. I have much less time for TED than I would like and so there are occasional gaps in my replies.

          I think your original question is fair. I didn't take it as part of a discussion to prove to me, you, or anyone else that I am or am not changing; only you asking me if I thought I was. No harm in that.

          I've done primary research regarding "change" with a representative sample of adults ages 18 to 70 living in the US. There is a significant minority who do not believe they are changing, and for all you knew I may be one of them. I am not.

          I believe we all change every every instant of our lives from the moment we are conceived until the moment we die, and arguably even after in the perceptions others have of us based on how we lived.

      • Dec 9 2012: "I believe we all change every every instant of our lives from the moment we are conceived until the moment we die ..."

        Sure we do, but it's ' nothing ever changes but the Same ' kind of change. Change of love/hate ratio suggests paradigm shift, i guess.
        I don't think we have millennia gently unfolding in front of us ; we are in 'phase transition', iow. there must be change in quality. What this world lacks of is consciousness or higher level of consciousness, which leads to love and compassion effortlessly and naturally ; the solution of our global problems will come with, i believe.
        I hope we are changing :)
        And ' are you changing ' question is not good not because it may be offensive, but because it's too complex and confusing. Quantum measurement problem is universal, i think , it's difficult to measure something we are a part of and we are part of everything
        ( change included )
        Thanks for responding, no need to apologize, i don't have much time for TED either :)
        Best to you !
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          Dec 9 2012: If by "Sure we do" you mean everyone knows we all change, at least in imperceptible ways, I assure you there are those who don't. And they are vocal about it as well.

          We've come off the original question but I've enjoyed the detour. The subject of change is of great interest to me and a good way for this conversation to end. Thanks Natasha.
      • Dec 9 2012: Was it the detour... ? :)
        We can't afford ' hate- comes- easier ' attitude any more. It's in the past and we should leave it there.
        I don't believe in politics and governments; the real change comes from within.
        And if what i think is happening, is happening it'd better speed up :)

        Thanks for the conversation, Bill !

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