TED Conversations

Linda Hesthag  Ellwein

Communications, Change, and Photography, Oikonomia, Inc.


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Have you believed something - or the idea of something - and discovered you were mistaken, or wrong? What's your story & what did you learn?

Our world view often conjures up ideas or beliefs that seem to 'fit' within it. We often cluster beliefs with ideas or behaviors that 'sound' right to us. Every now and then, the ideas we hold are simply wrong, or at least need to be questioned. I'd like to hear examples of paradigm shifts that changed your world view or point of view. When have you been mistaken?

These experiences, or paradigm shifts, often surface through cultural beliefs, politics, in beliefs relating to sustainability and environmental preservation, or human behavior/relationships - but are certainly not limited to these. What have you assumed to be true or right, and suddenly found yourself doubting your certainty?


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    Aug 9 2011: I always wanted to be a frog as a child. I used to practice hopping around the house thinking when I would grow up, i would turn into a frog. But sadly...I didn't turn into a frog. I grew up though :) I was just thinking how crazy it is, growing up. As a child we believe in our innocence and the simplistic nature of our being....and then one day we sit there and reminisce about our past laughing at our gullible selves. I am still very young, but I feel that these moments are getting more frequent and I am just beginning to understand the world around me. Nevertheless, I would like to say most of the time I find I question everything, maybe it is the rebellious nature of being a teenager but I have learned something very important. As a child everything is right and wrong, now I am just beginning to see that there is more than right or wrong there is a very very large shade of gray! I apologize if this wasn't exactly the kind of answer you were looking for Linda, but I hope I have contributed to this epic question! I'm having a lot of fun reading other people's answers! haha!
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      Aug 9 2011: Are you kidding? A story about a little boy who dreamed of being a frog so much that he practiced hopping? And then grew up to discover he couldn't be one! And, a teenager who is living the realization right now - at this very moment - that there is gray! Bravo!
      You have most definitely contributed with epic answers. :D
      As I read, I could almost see and hear you hopping across the floor...in my mind, you were wearing green feet pajamas. ;)
      Keep on laughing at your self, whether gullible or mistaken or wrong or whatever. Laughing at myself is good medicine for me...and keeps us humble I think. But one thing I do know for sure -- I could be wrong about that. ;)

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