TED Conversations

Phillip Beaver

Citizen, Humankind


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Each person is better served by self-reliance within the community of humankind than by subservience to ideologies.

The human path is not easy: Infants are uniformed, illiterate, inarticulate, sexually diffuse, self-centered, and dependent on conflicted societies (Overstreet). Each infant has duty to self to achieve psychological maturity. Societies encourage people to become compliant--to a god or a philosophy and a family and a country and a career. There’s almost no time to “know thy self.”

Each person’s path toward self-discovery is unique within a concurrent 80 years of humankind’s millions of years’ progress (involving perhaps 100 billion people). Thus, "I am" is not alone. The adolescent’s path lags humankind’s maturity, but the adult has the potential to lead.

Justice is necessary for liberty. But is unity beyond I am desirable? I’d like TEDsters’ thoughts.

Perhaps people who acquire hope, humility, and uncertainty develop the necessary, evolving skills for leadership. It is difficult to think of an example for all cultures, but Abraham Lincoln, whose time was cut short, comes to mind. Perhaps TEDsters can suggest people who led/lead humankind’s progress toward psychological maturity.

In addition to H. A. Overstreet's book, The Mature Mind, at least two TEDsters helped inspire this presentation.

1. Matthieu Mossec’s conversation, “Morality is better informed by science than it is by religion.”

2. Leslie Saunders’ phrase “independence within interdependence,” in the conversation, “It seems the conversationalists herein have relegated the golden rule to the world’s list of bad ideas.”

(General revision: 11/20/11, to "subservience to ideologies 11/22, added 2 related talks on 11/29-30, 1 on 12/6/11)


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    Nov 26 2011: Mr Philip: In answer to your talking of TEDsters, that they are above temptations: "TEDsters apparent sins seem so far above Christianity’s seven deadly ones: the seven seem obsolete", I have to acknowledge that I, personally am not yet above them: I still have a large share of those biblic sins. It's been a while that I have been trying to post back an answer to your last one, but, because of the posting restrictions to only 2000 characters, my numerous attempts have failed (even cut/paste). At the same time, I cannot drive myself to reduce the volume of my answer (1450 words). One can easily read here gluttony (I cannot have enough of a thing, here, words), greed (something as before), sloth (I wouldn't get myself to right a shorter answer), anger (why on earth do not they allow us 1400 words), envy (you have posted more than the allotted 2000 characters) and pride (I am proud of having things worthy of sharing). In the hope that I can some day amend to those traits of mine, yours faithfully, Mirella Jaber :)
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      Nov 26 2011: Dear Mirella Jaber, the human goal is perfection, meaning no self-contradiction.

      TEDsters (you are one) are above the Seven Sins, not because you never err, but because practicing those sins is not your focus. It’s only when a sin controls life that it becomes deadly. (When my pre-teen children were freely viewing a sex flick they bought at a garage sale, I told them that nursing carnal appetites would ruin their lives.) Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in “Divinity School Address,” that Jesus’ message is that each human being is destined for perfection, morally low as he/she may be, yet that destiny may be ruined by doctrine. I like RWE’s Jesus better than Christianity’s Jesus.

      As to frustration with TED limitations, here’s my practice. I write in Microsoft word. When I am trying to respond to someone as kind and sharing as you, I copy their post onto my Word-file to address it. I try to write concisely to address everything.
      When I think I am finished, I copy my response to the clip board and paste it in the TED response block. If I have exceeded 2000 characters, I go back to Word and edit, then back to TED, repeating until accepted. When I hit Submit, I quickly review and if necessary, hit Edit. I go back to Word to edit, and then recycle to the TED response block. When I am pleased with the submitted post, I delete the Word-file.

      If you can spend no more time on this conversation, you have been a wonderful teacher and I will look for your posts on other subjects. If you respond more, I will be glad.


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