TED Conversations

Diann Rust-Tierney

Executive Director, National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

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What will it take to move our nation and then the world to the place where we value and nurture people.

We pay a lot of lip service to the value of the individual or our investment in children as our future. But when you look at what we do there is a gap. We tolerate people and families living on the streets, we accept vast disparities in educational opportunities for children, we keep millions of people locked up and locked down in solitary confinement and we execute some.

I'm looking for concrete steps we can take to build a sense of commitment and connection that will allow us to be a healthier and more compassionate society. I have described the symptoms-- what can we do together to fix the real illness? How would you define it?


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    Jan 9 2014: Your concept is great, agree with every word you say. It is a grand task for us to invent the structure of many varieties of small flexible systems for to serve our future society. Why small systems instead of the existing gigantic systems? Our manmade society and its systems of all sorts, treat everyone as collective non-existing prototypes. When they are huge it is impossible to adjust them to unavoidable changes within our environment, these systems are doomed to collapse, sooner or later creating disasters .

    We still shall learn that nature nurtures us as unique individuals with different abilities and characters, different needs and possibilities. Each of us has uniqueness that shall never be suppressed by our society games and conventions, otherwise our stiff systems provoke illness, bitterness, madness, crime, and war. We still need to learn how to bring out the best from our nature's granted abilities, within ourselves.
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      Jan 9 2014: I agree Vera, that people often get "lost" in systems....stereotyped and prototyped as you say, and it's important to recognize people as individuals with different abilities and characteristics, different needs and possibilities.

      Along with our differences, I think/feel it is important to also recognize our similarities. We can learn and grow with each other when/if we make that choice, and that choice starts with each of us as individuals:>)
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        Jan 9 2014: Coleen, you put this together better than I did. Ted just published my conversation very much related to this one.

        "How seriously does our ability to imagine others in our minds impact our understanding of others in real life?"

        I'd be so glad if you will comment on it. It is about how we manage to create our own character while perceiving others… it's also about our natural abilities to act as others(at least in our minds) in order to understand others..

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