TED Conversations

Mike L

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

If you could teach the world 1 valuable thing you learned, what would it be and why?

The 1 valuable thing you learned could be anything, whether it is a skill, a lesson you learned, a quote you heard, or even the most simple things.

+14
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Aug 12 2011: If I could teach the world one thing, it would be to learn to have some mastery over their emotions. It would behoove us to do more rational thinking, and less rationalizing of our emotional reactions.
    • Comment deleted

      • Aug 12 2011: Frans, I did not say we should suppress emotion. Nor would I recommend it. You are right, that can create problems. Emotional mastery isnt "suppression" as I see it. Its just not letting our emotions run the show entirely. The wisdom to know when it is okay to run with your emotions and when reason should prevail. Suppressed emotions often DO run the show, all the more because they are acting below the level of consciousness. So I would never call it mastery to suppress them.

        However, when you allow emotion free reign to dictate actions, as we do now for the most part, anyone who can manipulate us emotionally can also control our actions. Hitler knew this. Stalin knew this. Our leaders know this. Advertisers know this. Anyone who wants to control other people knows this. Most of us dont know this.

        Make the people fear? You can get them to attack. Tell them what the danger is? You can direct that attack. That is a real problem in a world where money controls the media. What I mean by emotional mastery is the ability to feel your feelings, not repress them, but then to apply your rational dispassionate mind to an examination of the situation. To look at the facts, to look for motive in those who are whipping up your emotions, so you can decide rationally if what you fear is a boogey man created by someone else to control you, or if it is real and requires real action. (Love can also be used to control, its not only fear, someone can make you love them by telling you what inspires love in you, and their actions may betray their real intent)

        We do not, (on the whole, individuals can and do), look beyond our emotional impulse. We get carried away in the rapids of emotion and act before we think, and often we dont even know we SHOULD think, that there is a need to get more facts, a need to examine motive, because the current of emotion is so powerful.
        • thumb
          Aug 12 2011: Thank you Alyson for explaining your initial thoughts And you are right about how people are manipulated all over. It is often done by people that are mislead and can't think for themselves. It is due to the way of upbringing and educating children that in most cultures they trust in authority and which makes them into easy prey for those that use their given power for selfinteresting means. Belief systems, restricted access for information and social pressure also take a big part in this. So it's a big issue and to get any change in this it has to start with our children and our guidance. To grow up they must learn to trust their own heart for direction and to use their own minds to lead them.
    • thumb
      Aug 12 2011: I wouldn't recommand this. Emotion is the way our body is moved by our feelings. This energy becomes available to act upon that which gave that feeling. If you suppress that emotion it will work inside instead of outside. The result is a distortion of the mind, body or both. People get sick or mad and the Victorian age was an example of this. Suppression of emotion and natural needs as was common practice then made a lot of people violent and mad and gave Freud a reason to start his psychological investigations.
      What you mean however is something else. I think that you think that as more poeple were better educated they were more civilized. And I thinks this too. They would understand more and have more respect for others and the world they live in.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.