TED Conversations

Linda Hesthag  Ellwein

Communications, Change, and Photography, Oikonomia, Inc.


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How attached are you to your deeply held beliefs? If solutions to global problems challenge your worldview, how do you react?

Allan Savory's recent TED Talk introduced an unlikely and politically incorrect solution to reversing global desertification and climate change with the use of livestock as a tool, and different decision making.

Well-meaning laws, bureaucracies, and activists at the mercy of public opinion have stifled this work from moving forward on a large scale in the US. Belief systems and the fear of being wrong often prohibits change.

How do you respond to ideas that challenge your belief system? How do we stop our paradigms and prejudices from unfairly shaping decision making, and allowing us to take real risks for lasting change? What's your reaction to cows helping save the world? What idea have you believed and been completely wrong?


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  • Mar 12 2013: The quickest, easiest, best & by far the nicest & most powerful & indelible way to have one's ideas changed is via an epiphany. And how does one have an epiphany? Aren't they by their very nature serendipitous ? Well some are - but even for a spontaneous epiphany to occur the circumstances &/or the message, must be just right & the subject's heart (psyche) must already be fertile ground for the epiphanic garden of fragrant blossom flowers to grow in it. And today, due to our gargantuan estrangement from both nature & each other, the psyches of fewer & fewer of us are fertile ground for, gulp, 'any good thing to grow in'.
    Allan Savory's talk would be epiphanic - if only mildly - for many of those of us who's psychic 'garden soils' are already both fertile & moist enough for his ideas to take hold, take root & begin to grow. Even here 'blossoms' would be a long way off.
    But in principle (but perhaps not in practice) no great difficulty at all attends the task of deliberately ARRANGING circumstances so that not just mild epiphanies but grande mal ones will occur in any individual willing to expose themselves to these deliberately contrived epiphanic-inducing circumstances. And here I refer to the phenomenon of simply 'being there'.
    Imagine if you went in person to see Allan's work !!!????? And even took a doubtful nay-sayer along with you ???
    Although I hesitate to point it out due to the deservedly bad reputation the practice now enjoys, 'interventions' are attempts to create good epiphanies in those persuaded to experience them. If you don't already know in an intervention the subject is persuaded to enter a rehab centre - but apparently all too many back fire. Possibly due in great part to the infertility of the subjects psychic garden soils making it impossible for the seeds of wellness & wholeness to take root - let alone grow & ultimately blossom. The manner in which cults recruit new members by seducing them from off the streets where they live as homeless

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