TED Conversations

Caroline Phillips

CEO/President, Entrepreneur & muscian


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."


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 14 2011: We have a saying like that `Soz gumusse, sukut altindir.` in Turkish. to keep silence in such a joke is better than to make some addition to it. Maybe they enjoy to make fun of a black guy/gay/jewish/muslim/French,etc. But I think telling bad things and change the atmosphere in there is not needy. If they were ones who know the meanings of what they kidding about(as you), they'll never do such way of talks.

    So, there's no need to hurt people(no matter if they are close people or stranger). I do this.

    If you don't want to keep silence? Use the brain which your creator putted it on the top point of your body,

    Did you see any other Turkish people around who talk in my style of thought? So, make some creative steps and people start following your behaviour. Like the way I do now...

    And never forget my motto: `Your tolerance to other people's worths, draws down your country's borders.`

    Talip Ozdemir

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