TED Conversations

Caroline Phillips

CEO/President, Entrepreneur & muscian

TEDCRED 500+

This conversation is closed.

What can we do, as citizens to promote tolerance in our daily lives ?

You're in a meeting. Someone tells a joke ... it's about a jew, a black guy, that pushy feminist, that gay guy... What do you do ?

You're waiting in line and you see someone ethnic/different being badly treated by a bank teller/government worker/cashier.

You're at a party where Dave, your friend's husband is gay-bashing again.

At school, you hear a kid use a racial epithet when yelling at another kid.

What kind of attitude do you adopt ?
If you do say something... what do you say ?
How can and does your behavior affect others ?

If you have stood up for the underdog and for tolerance, how did it affect your relationship with friends, clients, business partners or significant others ?

Tolerance ... definition :
"The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others."

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Closing Statement from Caroline Phillips

Thank you all for your wonderful contributions to this conversation about Tolerance with a capital "T".

I've learned quite a bit from you and I think it's a wonderful testimony to the magic of TED that so many nationalities participated in this conversation. I feel a lot like Mary Saville : I too tend to get too emotional and engaged about intolerant things I'm hearing so I can produce the opposite effect and be too agressive and intolerant. I'll aspire to be more like Robert Jaffe when adressing intolerant people, to react swiftly but not humiliate.

Susan B. writes "Standing up for the underdog, does not make life happy for you. You are looked at as not being a team player, going against the norm and going against the grain."

My concluding thoughts : Unfortunately I don't live in a "TED world", so standing up for the underdog will often be a perilous endavour, but I'm willing to take the chance.

Hugs to all.

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    May 5 2011: All these things you have mentioned are violations of Human Rights. Laws that govern every single human on this earth. Every person has these rights as though every person is created equal. It comes down to a matter of principle and how strongly you believe in these principles. If you are one that is quick to anger and has strong principles, I'd imagine you'd be a UFC Fighter or a street brawler by now. So now you can look into how people are raised, developed and how they perceive principles while treating others a certain way. It's all in the skull and how people react to certain circumstances.
    As for myself, I am a man of principle and have a quick and sharp tongue which I can use ruthlessly if provoked. I tend to make smartass comments to people subtly and such if needed to, but if something hits a nerve, I adapt a "don't give a SH**" attitude and carry on as I please. These moments usually occur when I feel that I am being without a doubt disrespected. This includes but is not limited to racism, belittling, or putting myself/friends/family in danger. This is not saying that I am proud of this, as I am trying to correct this now.

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