TED Conversations

greg dahlen

Alumnus, academy of achievement


This conversation is closed.

If you were to give a TED talk what would it be about? What points would you make about your topic?

Interested to hear what matters to people.


Closing Statement from greg dahlen

Well, it wasn I saw that people have interesting ideas for TED talks. One wonders if everyone in the world has an interesting talk in them?

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  • Mar 3 2013: Forgiveness .

    How important it is, how difficult it is, and how, like so much, the true version cannot be forced.
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      Mar 10 2013: Do you consider yourself more the person who has to forgive, or the person who has to be forgiven? What do you find yourself having to forgive, or what do you find yourself having to be forgiven for?
      • Mar 10 2013: probably the answer is Both.
        And also, although 'forgiveness' is a noun, I have learnt, over a long period (and multiple bereavements) that forgiving is a process, a dynamic.
        I believe it can only happen when there is a movement between two (or more) people. It isn't 'done to' as it were, with one passive, although one can take the initiative - which is often where the courage is required.

        In answer to the second part of your question, I would say where one has been hurt, or deeply hurt, and especially where one's life has been wounded. And inversely, where I may have hurt, often inadvertently - it wasn't my intention to hurt, but sometimes I have realized many years later that something I did, perhaps when immature, must have caused hurt. And then if I realize that the person I unintentionally hurt had nevertheless forgiven me, that is a remarkably powerful feeling, and can have affect beyond the grave, many years later.
        It also encourages me to be more forgiving in every moment now, knowing it will never be wasted.
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          Mar 10 2013: reine, there's something I read about in the papers perhaps you would comment on. I have seen the families of murdered people, they will say that they forgive the murderer, but they still want to see the murderer spend long years in prison. Do you think this is real forgiveness, if you still want to see the offender punished?
      • Mar 10 2013: I have heard of this, and also the other way, where the parents of a brutally murdered girl almost immediately said they forgave the boyfriend, even though he hadn't owned up, and had hidden the body etc.
        I have to say I am puzzled by both.
        I think justice is best administered by those deeply qualified to do so.

        What I do know is that it's not a matter of whether one forgives someone or not....I have not found forgiveness is actually possible, in the sense of a circle being completed, until there is genuine contrition and regret, commensurate with what has been done. I suppose what used to be called repentance.
        I feel it is something that happens, rather than something one does, or declares.
        The good thing is that it can happen.
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          Mar 19 2013: reine, if forgiveness is just something that happens, I wonder if you could make a talk out of it, because usually when people listen to a talk, they want to hear about something they can do, something where they can change their life in a way that they have some control over.
      • Mar 19 2013: Not doing something, or refraining from certain action, can also change one's life in a significant way, at times.
        It can also be a demonstration of self control, and indeed, may be more difficult, but like many difficult things, worth doing.
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          Mar 20 2013: Wow, reine, that's really an interesting idea, I wonder if that could be your speech, maybe you should think of other examples besides just in the field of forgiveness. Where else have you seen refraining from action as being effective? How could you make this interesting to an audience, as I still think an audience wants to hear a talk that is bold in some way.

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