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Producing run-of-the-mill heroes...

Heard a talk related to how individuals in situations within a system can be influenced to do all sort of things. I wonder about fostering the focus of individuals and conversations to sensitize them into choosing to act as heroes when the situation presents itself (rather than choosing from the other alternatives). This debate conversation seeks to focus on how to do three things:
1- Get the individual to choose the better way
2- Induce situations to move towards the better states
3- ensure systems ALWAYS produce the better beneficial effects

Evidently part of the interchanges may focus on what is mean by 'better' and how does one determine it; though the central idea here seeks to jointly explore what it takes to catalyze the hero response when the opportunity presents itself. As a metaphor how and what does one feed 'The Wolves Within' (see native tale story).

Ideally at towards the end participants will collaborate to produce a closing shared declaration of the resulting insights.

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    Jan 31 2014: There is an old axiom that says, 80 % of the people, are kind and generous, doing good things, your ordinary heroes. The other 20 % are just plain mean. I am not sure the numbers are correct, but my experience has been that there are more good people out there then mean. I am not sure how the good ones came to being. It is easy to say that they were raised in a religious environment that stressed ethics and morality. but then I have met good people who came from the most hostile, immoral places. I think that there may be some..... genetic?.... or physiological wiring, they mirror some strong role model.... I don't know.. I am just thankful they are there.
    And then there are the others. I remember a lecture given by an old monk concerning morality. He said that people have souls like God and the Angels. He tells the story of how there was a rebellion by Lucifer, an angel, against God. Well, God won and banished Lucifer to hell. Lucifer came to the conclusion that he lost his rebellion because his forces were not strong enough. He needed more followers. So, Lucifer goes around the world collecting souls for his forces. And the people who have these souls turn mean and immoral and even murderous. Well, doctors have identified sociopaths, and a number of other antisocial behaviors, and we can see mean, nasty people all around us. I have often wondered if there was some truth in the old monk's story.
    I am not sure that you can pull goodness out of people, I think that it is there and will come out on its own.
    A number of years ago there was a experiment where ordinary people were ask to participate in a lab test of pain and they were to push a button. Well there was no wire and the pained people were acting. The findings was that some people would continually push the button no matter how much yelling was going on. Mean people? What was not extensively mentioned is the people who would not participate or those that quit after the first yelp.
    • Jan 31 2014: Mike

      just a quick note for now... will come back latter on to delve deeper into what you said and share a couple of additional ideas...
      http://www.ted.com/talks/philip_zimbardo_on_the_psychology_of_evil.html
    • Feb 1 2014: Mike,

      In a way the thinker who chooses to reject the truth and rebels against the truth of the mater vanishes from understanding ... well its more like the truth be in plain sight they just can't see it... actually its more like they see it ... though they refuse to recognize it... and refuse to understand it... imagine being happy and unable to recognize it or accept it deluded and deceived into thinking one be unhappy... Kind of being a billionaire under the spell of not having a dime and thus unable to access the fortune nor enjoy having it...

      I think God created a bunch of possibilities some of which ought to remain as such, as possibilities ... the thing was that some decided to think that a bad idea was a good idea and then ended up confused and deceived thinking what isn't is and what is isn't... Its much simpler to think what be to be what be... the thing is some imitate others rather than do what ought to be done...
  • Feb 12 2014: Today the allotted time for a conversation* that is a bit related to this one ran out. There the issue of what one is doing to improve this world was explored. Here its a bit more along the lines of what does it take to learn to do what ought to be done when it ought to be done as it ought to be done.

    This conversation has 11 or so more days as of this message and I hope that in the remaining time significant insights will be attained here with the participation and collaboration of others. Time will tell...




    * http://www.ted.com/conversations/22856/do_you_think_you_have_done_som.html
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    Feb 4 2014: Esteban,
    Thanks for the opportunity to do better. I may not have been successful. There is always tomorrow.
    • Feb 4 2014: Mike,

      Thanks for the opportunity to delve into certain matters with you.

      I am a little puzzled by your post... I assume it was in reference to the responses that I did on something you said... the thing is that from your response it just might be that you perceived what I said was in reference to you rather than in reference to what you said... there be a small though significant difference ... Brene talks along the lines of 'someone be a mistake' vs 'someone committed a mistake'. (see http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame.html )As I am writing this I find that the statement 'someone be wrong' sort of mixes the above two statements. For some it just means a factual observation that 'I made a mistake' while for some it goes a bit further; some consider it a judgement call that considers themselves to be what they have done. Bluntly put some only consider themselves winners when they win a contest rather than consider themselves winners who happened to win a contest or who happened to lose a contest.

      In a humorous way:
      You had the opportunity to do better.
      You certainly could have been successful.
      There is always tomorrow, though it is only now that one may act!
      Will one choose to be successful this moment by what one choose to do now?

      Again I would like to reiterate my appreciation for having the opportunity to delve deeper into certain matters and hope that you see my responses addressing factual observations of particular issues and actions that each and all ought to consider while distinguishing and separating the acts from the individuals.

      Again in a humorous way:
      Collecting stuff can be a job one does or a trait one has there be a small though significant difference between the two
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    • Feb 2 2014: Carolyn

      I assume everyone has read knows of the two wolf story( http://theacademy.sdsu.edu/TribalSTAR/resources/files/TWO_WOLVES.pdf )

      The story is a bit related to the notion of : All thinking and being has evolutionary potential..

      What always produces the better beneficial effects would be... ones choice to react with divine love according to the ways of divine love. The Golden rule, of tread other as you would want them to treat you, misses the point that one ought treat others according to the ways of divine love. For those who believe in God it would be: Treat others as God would treat them... or Love each one as God Loves each one.

      From what I know ' a near death experience' brings one face to face with divine love... and one sees the truth of the matter as it be... The intensity of focus during the experience often overwhelms and liberates the individual to appreciate the beauty and 'forces' the hero to action. Well its more like the hero chooses to do well and The hero learns through intiation to make things better.

      Beginning a shared insight for all heros motifs is an insight to an external order that is similarily within ... which feeds and is fed by divine love. I think you understand
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        Feb 2 2014: I have not followed all the posts in your thread, but if you have not read it, one very often quoted or borrowed set of ideas about the hero comes from Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hero_with_a_Thousand_Faces If you have not read it, I recommend it to you. There seem to be various sites from which you can download the whole book.
        • Feb 2 2014: Fritzie,

          Thanks for the recommendation. I scanned one of them that I found in some site, and will read it in a bit more detail! From the quick overview my general impression sort of reaffirms the bias towards a dualistic hero-conquers-villan story, rather than 'Producing run-of-the-mill heroes'... As I said I will have to look deeper into the material to form a better idea and ensure that what I think of it at this time does (or doesn't) correspond to what' there... In a way I would say that Joseph Campbell focuses on the epic hero rather than run-of-the-mill hero.

          If I where to define the formative journey of the run-of-the-mill hero It would be a bit similar to Zen saying:
          "Before Enlightenment chop wood carry water, after Enlightenment, chop wood carry water." I would include the notion: during Enlightenment chop wood carry water!

          "Before Enlightenment chop wood carry water,
          during Enlightenment chop wood carry water,
          after Enlightenment, chop wood carry water."

          Of court 'chop wood carry water' stands for some activity (which may even be doing nothing)

          There exists a singular difference of doing ordinary activities with different attitudes ...
          The tasks may be the same. The need attended could also be the same. The frame of mind that's where the run-of-the-mill hero forms and is formed.

          If you notice in my response to Carolyn I focused on how "the death experience activity' isn't necessary nor required, to produce the better effects, it be ones choice, to react with compassion.The hero learns through intiation to make things better by making things better and becoming a hero in the process, sometimes just doing mundane activities with the right attitude and feeling can change it all.

          Reminds me of waiting in line at disney land, a little girl next to us asked why are you guys laughing so much, whats so funny. We explained that we just like pointing out funny things we notice. She said Oh like the funny sounds my dad makes in the bathroom. LOL
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        Feb 2 2014: While you could certainly interpret Campbell to capture epic heroes, the opponent can and often is taken as a metaphor for something internal to himself rather than something external. The real journey and the real thing conquered is in the self.

        Yes, people's attitudes change the nature of the experience for them.

        Of course "the death experience activity" is not required. Such experiences often change people, but others change their perspectives or way of life as a result of different experiences, thoughts, or revelations.
        • Feb 2 2014: Fritzie,

          From the perspective of the real journey ...
          Why is it that we have the notion of "the real thing conquered is in the self".

          In particular why have the notion of 'conquer' embedded into the real journey?
          Seems to me that the real journey... begins when one conquers the conquering ... stated in a slightly different form the real journey isn't about overcoming taking control of (a place or people) by use of military force ... or even by just force ... the real journey is about bringing about order into (a place or people) by use of graceful moves ... that guide the flows of energy in orderly fashion through individual moves... which individuals take on their own free accord and which benefit the individual, the group, the situation the system and everything in-between.
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        Feb 3 2014: My reference is to Campbell's work. You will find his articulation of his perspective when you read it, or if you prefer, you can find many short online summaries of his work.

        There is no particular reference to force, as I recall it.
        • Feb 3 2014: Fritzie,

          My reference to the force stems from your statement above involving 'conquest', the definition I found of said word and a couple of additional factors. including some conversations I had recently elsewhere that involve a fundamental shift from the ways of 'conquest' to the ways of 'singular graceful acceptance of the better ways'.

          Curiously enough the conversation was with someone that stemmed from the armed forces and now is seeking a fundamental shift. Its been quite a challenge to get them to accept certain stuff because of the issue of control and who conquers who; it would be so much easier if we just focused on what happens to be though that would involve recognizing and ceding control to what be right and some refuse to do just that, deep down they know what is right

          I was pointing out that from what I saw in Campbell's work and which you sort of confirmed when you stated 'The real journey and the real thing conquered is in the self' reflect a kind of story which I find cultivates the same old same old story. Same old dualistic thing dressed in a new outfit. I was pointing out that the the real journey actually involves a kind of story which be quite different. In fact reality seems to be getting stranger by the moment as all conversation sort of merge and become one while remaining distinctly individual instances.

          The notion of 'Producing run-of-the-mill heroes' in essence seeks precisely the kind of story which be quite different and singularly unique in that it incorporates all positions as they ought to be incorporated... what is right is right and what isn't well it exists as just a possibility, as it ought to do. Its simpler to observe stuff when what be be what be. Sure we could play opposites where what is isn't and what isn't is just ensure that 'when you get it wrong' it correspond to it being right as right. Its simpler to observe stuff when what be be what be, even then it can be a challenge to communicate.
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        Feb 3 2014: You will also find this common definition in Webster's, one of the most widely referenced dictionaries in the English language: "to gain control of (a problem or difficulty) through great effort."

        If understanding what others mean is of interest to you, it is fruitful, I think you would agree, to consider the definitions people may intend rather that what you may assume they intend.
        • Feb 3 2014: Fritzie,

          Indeed to understand what others mean one ought to consider the actual definitions individuals intend ... and compare that to what one assumed they intended ...

          ... in a way that is why my original response asked :

          From the perspective of the real journey ... Why is it that we have the notion of "the real thing conquered is in the self".
          In particular why have the notion of 'conquer' embedded into the real journey?

          I even provided the definition of what I mean by the real journey... :-)

          NOTE that I removed the 'may' from what you just stated and replaced the 'rather than' with an 'and' and implicitly added the notion of 'corroborate what one thinks to be with what happens to be' and used one :
          - If understanding what others mean is of interest to one, it is fruitful to consider the definitions that the individual intended, actually corresponds to 'what one assume they intend' -.

          By the same token one ought to assume that others will generally consider the meaning of words according to their personal quirk and the possible meanings and choose the words accordingly.

          On a scale from 'being controlled by others' to 'being one in control, self-determinant ', I would place the word 'conquer' on the negative' side rather than on the 'positive' one. Yea I realize it could mean overcome or even better surmount or get the better of... as in : The real journey and the real thing surmounted be in the self. What I was pointing out was how some notions sort of 'creep' into the stories we tell and influence the stories we imagine. For example why is it that we have the notion "through great effort" why not "discovery through play and serendipitous advancements". On the same note why use the words 'a problem or difficulty' when we can use a challenge an opportunity an exercise ...

          I want to thank you for helping me reframe something... I now need to add a bit of depth, with the third apex point that orders and transcends controls through self determinations.
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        Feb 3 2014: It is interesting that you see effort and problem-solving as negatives rather than as activities that are pleasurable and bring joy and satisfaction. Of course discovery through play too has been widely practiced and encouraged certainly throughout modern history. Here are the twelve TED talks specifically about discovery through play: http://www.ted.com/topics/play

        I would argue additional talks could be placed under the tag "play," including the Stagmeister talk on the Power of Time Off and the Sunni Brown talk on doodling.

        The Tim Brown talk on play showcases how mainstream the idea has become and how some of the best known innovative firms set themselves up to facilitate play.

        Again, you may find value in Campbell's work, which will provide his answers to your queries based on his study of ancient myths and legends. His work is available in Spanish as well as in English.
        • Feb 3 2014: Fritzie,

          There is a difference between the notion of something requiring 'pain to gain' and requiring effective exertion to accomplish... Will look into the talks you mentioned and the Campbell's work... I just hope to find what I am looking for... and be able to share it in enriching ways.

          May I suggest that we shift from an argument towards an shared conversation ?
  • Jan 31 2014: Let's say that I am driving on the freeway at 60 mph with a less than safe (but pretty standard) 3 car-length distance between me and the car ahead. A car beside the car in front, in at lane going a couple miles an hour more slowly than my lane, puts on his turn indicator (blinker) indicating he wants into my lane. (Notice the possession in the statement my lane, rather than acknowledging it is owned by all and I just happen to be travelling in it first.)

    I have two choices: lower my speed, widen the distance, allow the other car to move into my lane or increase my speed, reduce the space, and ensure that car does not get in front of me.

    Either way, I will get a boost of oxytocin and feel good. One decision, I get to be the hero, and feel good about being a kind, cooperative, upstanding member of a civilized society. The other, I get to win, feeling good for having chosen the correct lane and preventing the loser from taking what was clearly my right,.to be in front (of him, not the 2000 mile long like of cars).

    I think the question is, how do we get me to pick the former rather than the latter. I do not know. Sorry.

    However, I would like to waste more space pointing out that no matter which I choose, there is a possibility the other driver may turn my good feelings into bad. If I choose to win, he can cut me off, moving into the "not enough space". OR, the driver may be flabbergasted by my slowing down, and not know what to do. He put on the turn indicator expecting me to speed up, widening the distance between me and the car behind me, where he actually intended on pulling in. When I slow down, I have ruined his plan. I end up yelling "What? Are you waiting on an engraved invitation?" while he's yelling "Freain' go while I can still get in behind you!".

    Such is the life of someone with a 20 mile drive to and from work.
    • Jan 31 2014: One way is to get you into the habit of picking the former rather than the latter... Yea at every moment we have the invitation (and/or the temptation) to go this way or that way... and each step takes us closer to one destination... The fundamental question would be to wonder how we would like it to be... then observe if our thoughts and actions are congruent with such a way... and sometimes we just have to try it out till it becomes second nature...

      Sometimes I like to do a little experiment... in gridlock I noticed everyone waits patiently... if I honk the horn... many will honk the horn... its an example of how many will do what others do without thinking much about it... I would really be pleasantly surprised if everyone caught on and learned to play some music with their honking
  • Jan 31 2014: I brought this in from another conversation to respond here because I consider it important there and here...

    'Someone stated'
    "The key to real knowledge is believing only that which there is sufficient data to support belief in, and then only as strongly as the data supports. The key to the illusion of knowledge is to reject facts and figures that disagree with your beliefs".

    The key to real knowledge is understanding what happens to be... congruently with what happens to be. Being able to prove that what happens to be happens to be is a bit secondary. Keep in mind that the burden of proof does not change the actual truth of the matter it merely proves that what be be what be.

    Some believe only that which there is sufficient data to support belief in and create a sort of paradox... for they only believe in the data that they believe in...

    When what one experiences depends in part in what one believes to be one ought to be careful which beliefs one holds to believe. Imagine believing you can't do it and not being able to do it because of what you believe. Of course if one is already stuck believing one can't do it and believing one can't change what one believes Then one be in an interesting stuck situation where one needs to think differently without being able to think differently because one thinks one be unable to think differently and that actually produces the experience of not being able to think differently... until one thinks differently and then everything changes.

    At this time I am still wondering about effective means to shift from the I can't to the I can given the sticking situation that keeps one stuck.

    The same with Producing run-of-the-mill heroes... how does one ensure one chooses to become a hero rathe than a villain... better yet how to produce only heroes who are beneficial to themselves and everyone else...

    Maybe with just the appropriate idea exposed in a particular way... a doubt ... which saves rather than condemns ...
    • Jan 31 2014: "Some believe only that which there is sufficient data to support belief in and create a sort of paradox... for they only believe in the data that they believe in... "

      This is a well known phenomenon called cognitive dissonance. We tend to reject or explain away data that does not fit, while easily being convinced of what we already thought was likely.

      This creates the need for the double-blind research study and tight research controls.

      Both the participants and the researchers are blind as to whether subjects are taking the real test or a control. Not knowing which data to pre-judge.

      If you think a certain area of the brain processes happy images, put people I the functional MRI. Show half happy stuff and the other half unhappy stuff. The researchers collecting and analyzing the data do not get to know which was showed happy and which was shown unhappy.

      ONLY after conclusions are formed and justified is the double-blind protocol lifted so that the researchers can see if they were correct or not.


      Poof, you cannot choose which data to believe and which to ignore, if you do not know which data is which when you are doing the judging.

      Science rocks!
      • Jan 31 2014: Darrell,

        It's even more involved than a double-blind study would lead us to believe... for example the proof you presented is based on a premise which some believe to be true and then some perceive is in line with the idea that because one thinks one can't do it one cant do it... though some can do it regardless of the fact some believe it can't be done... Oh yea if you ask me for proof of that you are asking me to move from one domain of possibilities to a different domain of possibilities and as we have conversed some ideas can only be conveyed in certain domains... and thats how the cookie crumbles ...
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    Jan 26 2014: Esteban.You surely sound to have a Taoist mind to say if everyone does what they ought to do...;)
    One's behavior and choice can be influenced by feeling and thingking and in some cases one can be not in control of his/her choice. I would think to retrospect why I do what I do would be a good way to start understanding what drive my behavior.

    I have a question for you. What make you think" acting as hero"is very important in the system where individuals can be influenced. Why not other things?
    • Jan 26 2014: Amily,

      Indeed "One's behavior and choice can be influenced by feeling and thingking and in some cases one can be not in control of his/her choice" Of course that also implies that ... "in some cases one CAN BE in control of his/her choices by influencing thoughts and feelings through One's behavior (what one choses to do - and not do). What drives one's behavior? One's feelings, one's thoughts, one's dreams, one's behaviors, one's genes, one's memes, one's destiny, one's circumstances, one's choices, one's dreams... maybe it is the one experiencing them things. I imagine you can distinguish the differences and similarities and correspondences between the one's who own the stuff and the one experiencing them things as things. I was going to mention how the first possesses the stuff while the latter tends to it to make a point that possessing stuff results in being possessed by it, where as when tending to the stuff leads to being tended. As I was making the point I realized that the owners of stuff may take better care of it than the tenants or those employed to maintain it or the guests. The fundamental point I was seeking revolves about the idea of does the story control what the storyteller does or the storyteller control the story. That is does the dream control what the dreamer experiences/does or does the dreamer controls the dream experiences. From there we can observe: dreamer storytellers dreams and stories and the relationships amongst them. Talking about 'dreams' presents an interesting notion for these can denote 'delusions' as well as 'yearnings'. The distinguishing factor being whether one recognizes what be and accepts it or rejects it. What if the dream realized that to exists it needs the dreamer to dream about it?

      What makes me think that acting as a hero is vital important in the system where individuals can be influenced? well I would rather individuals be influenced by heroes than the less desirable alternatives :-) out there :-)
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        Jan 30 2014: Esteban´╝î
        "I was going to mention how the first possesses the stuff while the latter tends to it to make a point that possessing stuff results in being possessed by it, where as when tending to the stuff leads to being tended. As I was making the point I realized that the owners of stuff may take better care of it than the tenants or those employed to maintain it or the guests."
        "
        If possessing stuff results in being possessed by it then what do you mean by that "the owners of stuff may take better care of it?
        The fundamental point I was seeking revolves about the idea of does the story control what the storyteller does or the storyteller control the story. That is does the dream control what the dreamer experiences/does or does the dreamer controls the dream experiences.
        "
        I think the story and storyteller influence each other and this actually beg questions like :
        Are human trapped in their past experience? (story ,script whatever the name is)
        If no,to what extent the story affect us?(what we tell and how we tell)

        Are we on the same page you think?
        • Jan 30 2014: Amily,

          By "the owners of stuff may take better care of it'" I meant that the tenants may see the property a bit different than how the owner sees the place.

          I was going to say that the tenants see it as something to be used, employed to get the most out of it while they are there. In the process I realized that some owners hold the same views ... Fixing and improving the place isn't their primary concern in fact for all they care the place can run down so long they get some-kind of benefits from it.

          Any ways the original point was that when something belongs to someone they will care for it better than when it belongs to somebody else; given the fact that the improvements benefit someone. Of course some tenants willingly fix up the place because they want to live in a nice place and if that has the side-effect of benefiting the owner/others well its just part of the situation.

          yes the story and the storyteller influence each other... in ways it can even develop into each sustaining the other existence; in other words without a story to tell there isn't a storyteller and without the storyteller there isn't a told story; a teller and a story collaborate to produce the storytellers told story. Now lets consider a good story; and what makes it be good!

          BTW in relation to the questions you put towards the end of your post... we are bound to our experiences while free to choose which binding to bolster...Humans are indeed trapped into what they think to be while free to think to be what happens to be (or some delusion, or some dream). View things as they are, as one would like them to be, as they ought to be and do something to close the gaps between them all involves thinking to be what happens to be and using that to influence what one thinks feels does and bolstering this or that storyline. Bluntly put you can't and can change what happened ... especially when the story told influences and defines what took place. Was it a temptation or a challenge or ..
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    Jan 25 2014: Here is a popular talk which is related: http://www.ted.com/talks/drew_dudley_everyday_leadership.html

    To address your question, some people live by a "golden rule" sort of principle that forms their identity and guides their actions. A second component of behaving in thoughtful ways is to embrace a habit of reflection on the consequences of ones actions or ones potential to contribute positively.

    Such guidelines and habits should steer a person toward positive actions, though one will almost never have adequate current information or perfect models for predicting consequences, so I don't think one can expect that people will always make ideal choices even if they aim to.
    • Jan 25 2014: Fritzie,

      Thanks for the comment and link... I enjoyed both.

      Me being me would transubstantiate the golden rule into: 'treat each as each would be treated by the divine' in more colloquial terms: 'treat each as each ought to be treated'. Of course this implicitly involves knowing about 'what ought to be' and taking the appropriate actions in the appropriate moment and place.

      Creating lollypop moments is quite related to Producing run-of-the-mill heroes... Sometimes a simple act that one does (or doesn't do) 'naturally' has profound ramifications, even when one is quite unaware of what just happened... its important to do what needs be done ... from the talk there are a couple of notions I would like to highlight: we can change the understanding of one to change the whole. One is capable of that and much more including appropriate care for everything and everyone wellbeing as it ought to be done. A simple thought can turn into a big thing.


      Rules that form ones identity and guide ones actions.
      Habits of reflection
      Individual contributions
      Aim for the ideal choices aware of what actually happens
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    • Jan 25 2014: lilly lilly

      preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience like awarding everyone in a particular species a status that they may or may not have is quite different from awarding somebody in particular that fits a given criteria a distinctive 'title'. When one uses words like the ones you use not only does it shifts the focus of this conversation it also cultivates the ideas most associate to them words and curiously does something that is the opposite of congruency between word and deed. I perceive that your statement "this nasty species that watches millions die while they play... has not one human hero" seems to denotes that the species being referred to isn't human.

      Given that denoting someone a hero hardly implies it involves a prejudice towards certain individual can we focus on the topic of this conversation? Would like for you me and others to please focus on the central issue of fostering certain behaviors when the opportunity presents itself... As a metaphor how and what does one feed 'The Wolves Within' (see native tale story). http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/TwoWolves-Cherokee.html
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    Jan 24 2014: Do you understand heroism as an active form of wisdom?
    • Jan 24 2014: Now that you mention it I do :-)!

      BTW I noticed that the link to the ted talk I heard wasn't showing on this conversation and would like to put it here with the clarification that the framing of it is actually in the other direction... still focusing on the core issues of the talk they do centers on what it takes to produce behaviors in individuals... http://www.ted.com/talks/philip_zimbardo_on_the_psychology_of_evil.html

      I am curious what it takes to induce wise everyday heroic actions...
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        Jan 24 2014: Maybe its just me, but whenever I hear the term 'hero', I have a spontaneous aversion against it.

        It has been used and misused to often and for to many evil agenda, that it became useless in its meaning to me.

        Moral courage is more of my liking, which I consider as an active form of wisdom for myself.

        But thats just how I think about it.
        • Jan 24 2014: Lejan,

          I too have a spontaneous reaction to certain terms ... which I sort of have to observe and consciously guide. Have you considered that maybe 'the good term' has been misused as a ploy... to get individuals to consider it as meaningless? Leaving a bit aside the particular term we choose to use and focusing on what it takes to act a certain way when the situation presents itself, what is your take on that? What can individuals do to foster a meaningful useful 'reflex' which produces 'Enacted' moral courage whenever the opportunity presents itself?

          I like the idea of an active form of wisdom which is useful, meaningful and diligent that leads to doing what ought to be done when it ought to be done as it ought to be done. Just wondering what each of us can do to induce such actions. (note that I mean induce such actions within us and within others )
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        Jan 25 2014: The misuse or a deliberate inflation of the original meaning of this term, I considered and it can be used in the way you describe.

        But one reason why I don't like this term is its inconsistency in time as well as politically and geographically.

        A suicide terrorist bomber is probably seen as a hero in his circles, whereas the victims died as heroes for their nation in an horrible act of violence.

        Same thing, two sides and lots of heroes ...

        As for wisdom and active wisdom if we choose to name it this way, my overall take is the following:

        I can only hope, but never know, that I will have the personal strength and courage to act accordingly to my current morals in any possible situation and moment during my lifetime.

        By this I separate two forms of situations. One which occur suddenly with little time to think, leave alone to wholly reflect the situation and those in which the process of decision making has enough time to be thought trough.

        For sudden situation I found a rule of thumb which I call somewhat like the '3 seconds before freeze window'. Depending of my personal involvement in a sudden situation, an accident for instance, it can be of importance to my actions if I experience a shock or not, which can be very helpful to me to get going, but could also have the opposite effect. This element may well be random, so I can not derive from this reliably. If I am not directly involved but close by this situation, my inner clock is ticking and when I didn't manage to react impulsively within 3 seconds, it is likely, that I would freeze in paralysis.

        On this I found, that mental training can help to certain degrees to react almost just in time, but if this is a reliable strategy I don't know and hope never to have reason to find out about it.

        Moral courage in situations with time at hand seems only be limited by my personal acceptance how much I am willing to loose. May this be a job, income, status, freedom or even my mental and physical health.
        • Jan 25 2014: Indeed some deliberately appropriate and use (misuse) certain terms icons to piggyback on the original meaning. Something similar can be done to change what is associated to the original term for beneficial purposes. For example being addicted to healthy practices is normally seen as a habit rather than an addiction; talking about 'additions to healthy practices' can change a bit what one associates to the term 'addiction'.

          In an indirect way you are addressing a fundamental key reason of what a term requires to be ... independent of what this or that individual would 'want' it to be a term requires consistency between the claim and the action consistent that may even be independent of time...

          Considering that ... It's evident to me that you can know about the fact of having the personal strength and courage to act accordingly in any possible situation ... maybe not a priori or even during or even just after it happens still I hold that you can know. Of course as you mentioned some stuff one is better to leave as just a possibility that one never has a reason to find out about it.

          I also hold that mental, physical and spiritual training can help to certain degrees to react appropriately and just in time as one ought to do. Ideally one should know what to expect and what one ought to do framed in a particular way that accepts the possibilities while always cultivating only the better ways. Moral courage sometimes involves a willingness to accept only certain valid ways as valid and following through with such valid ways.

          Again thank you for helping me come to these assertions stemming from what you said and what I contributed... hope you find something valuable in what I and you stated...
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        Jan 25 2014: I do not share your certainty that one can know 'of having the personal strength and courage to act accordingly in any possible situation ...', as to me this is a conclusion I can only make in retrospect and brutal honesty.

        Humans are very good in justifying their failures for themselves and they are highly creative to find excuses why they didn't act in a way they thought they would before a situation actually occurred.

        Thats why I can only hope that my character stands as strong as I think it ought, but I know that failing is human, and thats what I am, human and therefore capable to fail.
        • Jan 25 2014: Lejan,

          Please consider that you can know; without that meaning that you will choose to know. I noticed that the statement you made "I can only hope, but never know, that ..." is actually factually erroneous and ought to be corrected, especially if one be interested in making factually correct statements. As you sort of said : Humans are very good in 'justifying' their thoughts/stories/feelings/actions; Humans are also very good and highly creative to find all sort of stuff, or making it up during before or after the adventure...

          I am not certain that the idea that it is human to fail is actually valid, for all I know it may be an infectious notion piggybacking unto humans inducing humans to think/believe/feel it as a way for it to persists. Look at it this way, one can learn by learning, mistakes are not required though evidently they sometimes creep in; so one recognizes what happens and does what ought to be done to learn what ought to be learned, one moves on to learn the right way (which one could had done to begin with)

          Everyone acts based in a way they think/feel/believe so observe a situation of what actually occurred to know what you actually believe/feel/consider. In other words if we have what we want then look around and observe what each has to realize what it be each want... Of course having/getting stuff does not mean one has to keep it nor that it will remain as it happens to be at a particular moment in time. We may take it and transform it, we may give it to others, we may do an infinite of things. The key fundamental question is what we choose to do with it and of course sometimes that involves doing what ought to be done as one simply does it once and for all transforming for the better of each and everyone that happens to be and the possibilities that follow.

          I think we can hope and prepare and act and envision and share the ways to be while we experience and manifest them adventures, before during and after it happens (plan take remember)
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        Jan 25 2014: It seems to me, that our reflections differ from one another to very high degrees. Which is perfectly fine, but allow me to extend my hope to you as well, that you will always know what ought to be done and to have the strength and courage at any given time to life up to it.

        But be honest and strict with yourself when you fail, because to me and character wise this is the only way to learn and to grow.
        • Jan 26 2014: Indeed our reflections differ from one another to some degree and they also resemble one another to some degree. Which is perfectly fine .-) I too hope that each will always know what ought to be done and to have the strength and courage at any given time to live and do it... and even when one may not know what ought to be done I still hope one does what ought to be done and then discover that they choose appropriately. Of course one ought be honest with what happens and learn and grow from it always! I like to say we are bound to judge while free to choose how to do it... and sometimes we get just the help we need at just the right moment... just as we sometimes give the help others need at just the right moment... sometimes coinciding with each other and each getting more than they put into it...
  • Jan 23 2014: Ok this conversation got approved today... and am making this comment to hopefully bump it into the awareness of others...