TED Conversations

Peter Emer

The Lil Project

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How can we escape politics and empower peace?

So many times our idea of how we should look at other people and our attitudes towards those people are shaped by politics. And its for political reasons that we find ourselves hating a certain people or certain part of the world. Is that really how we it should be?

We have the choice to learn about the the world ourselves and control our own mindset. This to me would seem like a good building block towards achieving peace in the world. What do you guys think?

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    Mar 7 2011: To achieve peace in this world, we must each change ourselves because we cannot change anyone else. Don't believe everything you read or hear or see. Think for yourself. People and the media put a spin on everything. Sign up for the "Charter for Compassion" and LIVE IT.
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    Mar 3 2011: I think to biggest challenge would be leaving behind the mass media. We can accept it more or less but the truth is everything you see in tv/movies/advertisement is full of subliminal political messages, this happens in some countries more than others. Also, to make it "realistic," shows always include how different people are treated badly, and we shove this into ours kids's heads since their about 4. The problem is mass media makes people feel safe, and it takes away the unthinkable task of thinking for yourself, which I personally believe people are afraid to do because they would end up realizing they live in a world of fictions that range from national identity, to your own identity to language being meaningless symbols that account for 7% of what you say and all those things that would throw you into the real world where you are not always feeling warm and fuzzy cause you have rights (which are human made and given and therefor not as we call them natural, in fact they are fictions and often unfair).

    Once you can get people to think for themselves, and i mean truly and deeply think for themselves about issues that can make them feel uneasy(this is where the phrase ignorance is bliss comes from, because seeing the world we leave in can be very painful), it will be obvious to them that politics should not be involved in the way they act, and once every person can act peacefully there is no other way for the world to be but peaceful.
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      Mar 5 2011: I completely agree with you ambar. i think most people shy away from facing issues that make them uneasy....so as a result they never really stop to think about them and tackle them head on. But until every persons puts on their game face and starts looking at themselves and begins to act for themselves rather than follow how politics are telling them to act, we wont achieve peace. You right (: thanks ambar
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    Mar 19 2011: War is the status quo, meaning peace takes work.

    We can have peace, but we have to WANT it in order to take action to break from the status quo and achieve it.

    In order to really want something, people have to believe that it is possible to achieve it, which I suspect many people do not believe with respect to peace. I think most people believe that "peace" is too touchy-feely for the real world, and so "peace" is a nice dream, but it isn't worth pursuing.

    This is why the Egyptian revolutions were so powerful and inspiring. With the Internet empowering and connecting everyone, people are figuring out that they don't have to put up with abuses of power anymore, if they are willing to stand together for what they want.

    I think the change in mindset for empowering peace, is that if enough people want peace to happen, they can make it happen.

    Which sounds great! But so many ideas sound great, but then get less practical as you get down to the nitty-gritty.

    Yet, a specific, workable plan for peace that I think most people want (or would want if they thought it was achievable), is an end to the war in Afghanistan:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YesT05qIBbc

    And this specific plan for peace is favored by 93 House Representatives, including 8 Republicans.
    http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2011/roll193.xml#Y
    http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h780/show

    In 2011, we can no longer blame the media or politicians for distracting us or misleading us as to the state of the world or turning us against each other or telling us what is or is not possible. WE are the media now, and we shape each others' perceptions of the world by what we share, what we do, and what we pay attention to.

    The change I want to see is for us to WANT peace in Afghanistan. It is possible (1) if we believe that it is possible, and (2) if we have the courage to make it happen.
    http://www.ted.com/conversations/1306/end_the_united_states_military_1.html
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    Mar 19 2011: Be caring and honest.
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    Mar 6 2011: I do not believe we should leave behind the media as balance can be produced from these aspects produced. Your judgement is your own. You are not being judged too harshly outside of yourself. This kind of question typically leads to a lack of culture. When we say culture this doesn't necessarily mean African roots, though there is much to be learned from such knowledge for all of us. I would suggest finding a major favorite author, composer, buildings , something of inspiration, though if you can still not find it there, find appreciation in beauty of the people around you can what they are. Just don't look too deeply or harshly. Start with a grandmother or grand father.
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    Mar 3 2011: exactly.

    politics is shaped by the people. politicians are strictly limited in what they can do. a tiny slip, and they lose the next elections. they know how to avoid this, they know precisely what to say, how to win the heart of people. they tap into million years old instincts, into tribal thinking and xenophobia. they do this, or someone else will, and they lose.

    not before we manage to teach people to deny these ideas, can we make the world a better place.