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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  • Apr 25 2011: Of course the first thing to do in order to promote tolerance is to look at the things we are intolerant to and to challenge ourselves before we set about confronting others for what we perceive as their intolerance. We all discriminate every moment of our lives. What we feel should be tolerated at 21 may become intolerable at 41. We may tolerate behaviour from within our own families that we would not tolerate from people outside the family circle. It has to begin with a close look at ourselves.
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      Apr 26 2011: yes..exactly but its so hard to really see ourselves clearly, don't you think?
      • May 15 2011: Yup. I see how poorly many around me can see themselves. I see no reason why I should be significantly different, so I can only conclude that I am as blind to myself. A depressing conclusion, but one I dare not ignore. As Kathyrn Schultz points out, being wrong feel just like being right feels …
        ( http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/kathryn_schulz_on_being_wrong.html )

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