Steve Sapato

Speaker - Trainer - Facilitator - Coach - Writer, InterActive Seminars

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Have a good term for good people exposing bad people doing bad things. SOUNDER

We have many terms for people telling on other people; narc, snitch, tattletale, whistleblower. But if we are going to change our world and make it a great place to live we need to change our culture by changing our terminology. A good person exposing bad people doing bad things, whether that is lying, cheating, stealing, hurting others, bullying then we need a new term. I have proposed the term in the Urban Dictionary - SOUNDER. A sounder is a good person who exposes bad people doing bad things. And when they stand up for what is right and good and are doing the right thing they should be rewarded and recognized as good people. SOUNDERS are people who are Changing The World For ... GOOD!

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    Jun 23 2013: Hi Steve!
    Your profile indicates that you are a relatively new contributor to TED........Welcome:>)

    I agree that we need to encourage positive people who share with other positive people positive things". I also agree that when we have enough people who perceive exposing behaviors that are less useful to our global society as a good thing, we may have more transparency, and less abuse of people and our environment. I don't really care what it is called...."sounder" is fine:>)

    As a person who has facilitated programs with incarcerated men, and was a "sounder" regarding a toxic business, I do not think it is useful to label people "bad". Many people who abuse each other, or the environment lack self esteem and confidence. To label them "bad" simply continues to push them away into their own established lifestyle, which is not beneficial to the whole.

    I personally, would like to engage those who do the "bad" things in our world, in a different way, so they can do some "good" things.....make any sense?

    There was a practice in some Native American tribes, whereby the offender would be brought to tribal council, surrounded by community members, and each member of the tribe would talk about something good which the offender had done, and they would tell him/her that the behavior in question was not acceptable. In that way, the offender's confidence in him/herself may be encouraged, while the offending behavior was not accepted.
  • Jun 24 2013: Hi Steve!
    I SO agree that people who speak up and oppose publicly those who are abusing the system and those in it should be applauded. I only feel, however, that a different term will eventually also gain a negative connotation.

    I experienced this when I 'blew the whistle' on one of the care-givers at my son's pre-school, when I found out she had tied my child to a chair. I spoke up, informed authorities, and was clearly shunned by those who supported her, and it really didn't matter what people called me, the effect was the same.
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    Jun 23 2013: The interesting comments I see here are a complete travesty of the human condition. We want people to do the right things. We want the "whistle blower" out of Washington to come forward and expose the secret arms of the government. We don't want shoplifting and theft or murder and crime to run amok but when we talk about 'exposing' the bad people doing bad things, many of you who have replied seem set on the negative happenings of Sounding Off. How will our world change for the good if we perceive with fear that all who will expose others are bad people, or JUDAS? For goodness sakes... those should not even be part of our conversation. What we need are positive people who share with other positive people positive things and when we find negative people, people who do have things to hide doing bad things we should definitely expose those who are doing bad things.

    How on earth will we change our world to become a good place if we fear exposure, if we fear the honest person doing the right thing. This is not Salem, MA in the 'good ole days' of witch hunting and lying. We should fear the darkness not the light of exposure.
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      Jun 23 2013: I agree Steve... "We want people to do the right things". Do we get them to do the "right things" by continuing to label them bad people?
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        Jun 23 2013: Ah.. Colleen~ this is not about labeling them.. we are simply establishing a new pattern of terminology that says we need a new term that REWARDS people for being upstanding citizens, taking responsibility back, accepting their part in this society by insuring that anyone doing the wrong/bad things should be exposed for what they have done. I know who I am when I steal, I know who I am when I take a bribe. I know who I am when I lie or cheat.... all I want is for America to be able to be proud of standing up and exposing the things that are wrong! and the people perpetuating them.
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          Jun 23 2013: OK Steve, I agree with establishing a new pattern of terminology. That being said, you referenced "bad people" in your introduction and comments....yes?

          Labels are important to me because they sometimes serve to define a person. Many of the incarcerated guys used to say things like..."I'm ADHD...what do you expect"? See, they got that, and other labels as children, and were convinced that they were "bad" people.

          So, in addition to the important things you mention, including standing up and exposing things that are wrong, I like to stand up and say let's stop using these kinds of labels without adequate consideration.....what do you think?

          You and I may know who we are, and some people have not done that evaluation of "self", which is beneficial to all of us. That's what the cognitive self change sessions were about....who am I? What am I doing? Why? What was I thinking? What was I feeling?

          I realize that we are "hitting" two different angles of the same challenge:>)
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          Jun 23 2013: I believe the importance of label is a sound argument on Colleen's part.

          The label is what you, others and experiences themselves may become or migrate towards, even if they're not really correct.

          If I call accidentally burning a frozen pizza a tragedy, it may enhance the negative side of the experience of not having a meal, my self-esteem (how stupid do I have to be?!) goes down etc. If I call it an oops and giggle, it will be a funny memory. This is just a pizza, but when it comes to labelling whole person - character, personality, dignity, integrity, self-esteem, role etc, it gets more tricky and difficult to wash off, correct.

          "all I want is for America to be able to be proud of standing up and exposing the things that are wrong! and the people perpetuating them." - there's also a world outside America. And it isn't bad or full of bad people (said a pizza-burning EU-citizen...oops, a label! Said whistlewhispering unimonk...label again. Hmm. This is difficult! :) But at least those labels are not disruptive to my dignity as a human being and no weird, self-contradicting standards are used to make them)
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        Jun 25 2013: Hi again, Colleen.

        Still on the labels, being good and, well, on topic.

        That's just a funny introspection, but still... Refering to your experience with "I'm ADHD...what do you expect"?

        I was programmed by mom and dad to seek the truth, think a lot and deeply and be good and never give up (or seldom), what do you expect? :)
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          Jun 25 2013: Hi again Anna:>)
          I believe kids will often live up to expectations of parents and society, and what we/they are taught is so important.

          I was taught/programmed by my mom and 7 older siblings to be honest, truthful and to explore many aspects of the life experience. As a kid growing up, I believed that I could be and do whatever I chose, as long as I put my time, energy and passion into it........whatever "it" was/is. So that is what I anticipated as I moved through the life adventure:>)

          Our programming as children is SO important to the kind of life experience we will have!
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        Jun 25 2013: I sincerily do hope that our programming, NLP or whatever that might be, will show others what's important, will expose some things, and that the light of exposure will not trigger anything dark for neighter you, others involved, or me. We're all in this together.
        This is not being irationally feministic or an altruist, or a pragmatist/realist. Don't label me, please.

        Best wishes.
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      Jun 23 2013: Not really. There has to be balance.

      In this country we had the McCarthy era that could ruin careers on not much more than a rumor. People are easily manipulated into complying with the tyranny of the majority.

      That is not to say that criminals don't have to brought to justice. But people are not an unimpeachable source of information. Jury's are not always right as witnessed by the number of inmates being released because of DNA evidence.

      From a practical perspective it will be hard for witness to speak against a gang.

      I hear you about the snitch thing as that is somehow construed as treason. Which is moronic, but it takes a high quality group to see it for what it is. And you (I assume) are talking about people who operate on the level of an animal.

      What the real answer is, is education. At a remedial level.
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        Jun 23 2013: Hi Pat! I LOVE probably know that by now:>) on many different levels!
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        Jun 23 2013: I agree Pat. Education has to happen on many different levels, and is only part of the solution, which is why I wholeheartedly agree that we need to nurture balance.
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          Jun 23 2013: I'm not sure you hear what I'm saying?
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        Jun 23 2013: I thought I was hearing you Pat....perhaps not....if you think I am not understanding, and would like me to, try another way of explaining?
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          Jun 23 2013: Education of very specific things mainly basic tenets and basic morals, things like the golden rule, the boyscout motto the ten commandments, the way to happiness. No matter what your religious affiliation these tenets work. I know that we agree on the touch stone of education is application. These tenets work if applied, the education part is about application.

          The danger is that there is way more "knowledge" that does not work and is a liability to anyone who uses it.
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        Jun 23 2013: Got it....I agree Pat. We've had discussions before about application. We (humans) have had lots of information about good/bad/right/wrong behaviors for a very long time, and there are lots of theories about how it "should" be, and how it "can" be. For some reason, we sometimes fail to put the information into practice.

        In my perception, that is part of what Steve is bringing to light. Why is the whistleblower thought to be the "bad guy"? We can change our world by recognizing that the person who speaks up about unacceptable behaviors is the GOOD guy...not the BAD guy!

        I think this idea may be recognized more when we label the behavior bad, and not the people. You remember the situation I had with the toxic business? I felt like I was alone as the whistleblower and it seemed like the whole town was against ME.

        The folks who owned the business had family in the community for 200 years, were very well established, held positions of authority on the town governing boards, went to church, and were well liked and respected. I brought to light, the fact that their business was toxic and should not be operating in a residential area. They were in violation of local, state and federal environmental laws.

        The perception was....Colleen is the bad guy for doing what she is doing to those poor innocent nice people. I held my course and continued to say that what they were doing is not acceptable. It didn't have anything to do with whether they were good or bad people in other respects. I think if I had said they were bad people, I would have been tarred, feathered and thrown in the river! As it was, it was only my property that was damaged and my life threatened.

        It took a very long time after they were ordered by the environmental court to cease the operation and vacate, for people in the community to FINALLY understand the situation and how it impacted everyone in the community.....then I became the good guy for being a whistleblower:>)
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          Jun 23 2013: I get it and that is laudable and intrepid behavior.

          I also see that you get the other side of this as well.

          In the world there are good people and bad people, there are good people who do some bad things and the reverse. Hate the act not the person. Not that hate works either but you get my point. Some people are intent on doing bad things no matter what, I'm wouldn't waste too much time trying to rehabilitate Charles Manson. Some people have blind spots that need to be corrected.

          Some people as the song says, "If you covered him with garbage,George Sanders would still have style, And if you stamped on Mickey Rooney He would still turn round and smile" These people (like yourself) are the natural leaders and need to be enhanced and helped while suppressing, through justice the bad acts of the good, and stopping bad people.

          For sure what you say makes sense, my point is that what is needed is a remedial education.
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    • Jun 25 2013: LaMarr.

      You wrote: " it is a violation of the trust that US citizens have established with our government."

      What trust are you talking about? I have no trust for the government. They deserve none.
      They are the ones who are breaking the laws every day, for their own agenda.
      I think you may be seriously brainwashed into thinking they are trustworthy.

      He is a hero and America (and elsewhere) need more like him.
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    Jun 23 2013: Snowder?? Honoring Edward Snowden
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      Jun 24 2013: I don't think so. But he should be.
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    Jun 23 2013: Except the accused has the right to face the accuser, as it should be, which can get tricky, otherwise individuals get attacked/slandered without any recourse, from an anonymous tip. This is not good either.
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    Jul 3 2013: Words certainly have a powerful impact on how we view the world and the connotations we have. We need a powerful new vocabulary to try and change the negative perceptions we have. Being a South African, I know all about the power of the word and know that through words comes change and appreciation. But we also need to change our values and ethics, what is important, and start believing in the power of humanity to do good.
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    Jun 23 2013: Hi Colleen! I do like your message! Unfortunately I do think there are bad people who do bad things because it enhances their life in some way. But... I would love to work out a new method/motto/description that would be less push-away style. Thanks for you input!
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      Jun 23 2013: Steve,
      Here's a little technical info if you are interested. We can keep the comments in sequence by replying directly to a comment, rather than starting a new thread at the top. See the little red "reply" in the upper right corner?

      I agree that behaviors serve us in some way. One of the programs I co-facilitated with incarcerated offenders was "cognitive self change". I believe many behaviors are learned, so sometimes, with new information, some people can change their behavior, thereby moving out of the "bad guy" label, into the "good guy" label/behavior.
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        Jun 23 2013: Sweet tip!! Thank you Colleen! I 100% agree that we are ALL capable of change. Those who want and are looking for a change can accept it. It is what my programs are always about. Mental Prosperity is all about changing you by changing your mind, thoughts, actions and it is all inside of us already. We just haven't tapped into it yet. I am 100% changed from the boy I was at 28 and probably from the man I was at 50. Thanks for your help and input.

        Is there such a thing as 'follow' what you post or share?
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          Jun 23 2013: You're welcome...Good job! Now you will notice that this comment does not have a reply? You can scroll up to the next "reply" opportunity. Sometimes, it may not be the person you are replying to, but it seems to work most of the time.:>)

          True...we have to be wanting and seeking change in our self, or it will not happen. We cannot change someone else. Yes! Change our thinking, we may change our feelings, which may change our life experiences:>)

          I don't understand what you mean by your last question...follow what you post or share?
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    Jun 23 2013: good point, never thought about it. So-called "snitches" put a lot of bad people behind bars. I sometimes wonder how that works, when someone "snitches" don't they become vulnerable to retaliation, do they just accept the risk, or is it safer than it seems?
  • Jun 23 2013: Common sense can always be implied in our evaluations. We don't want to call Judas a good guy.