Handling Challenges with Grace

Posted by Editor Kristi Heidel

The following videos and descriptions are from www.ted.com.

What do you do when your beliefs and understanding of the world have been challenged, unraveled or even destroyed? Watch these six TED talks on how to approach these moments with grace and fortitude.

Take “the Other” to lunch
There’s an angry divisive tension in the air that threatens to make modern politics impossible. Elizabeth Lesser explores the two sides of human nature within us (call them “the mystic” and “the warrior”) that can be harnessed to elevate the way we treat each other. She shares a simple way to begin real dialogue – by going to lunch with someone who doesn’t agree with you, and asking them three questions to find out what’s in their hearts.

The gospel of doubt
What do you do when your firmly held beliefs turn out not to be true? When Casey Gerald’s religion failed him, he searched for something new to believe in – in business, in government, in philanthropy – but found only false saviors. In his moving talk, Gerald urges us all to question our beliefs and embrace uncertainty.

Why you think you’re right – even if you’re wrong
Perspective is everything, especially when it comes to examining your beliefs. Are you a soldier, prone to defending your viewpoint at all costs – or a scout, spurred by curiosity? Julia Galef examines the motivations behind these two mindsets and how they shapes the way we interpret information, interweaved with a compelling history lesson fro 19th century France. When your steadfast opinions are tested, Galef asks: “What do you most yearn for? Do you yearn to defend your own beliefs or do you yearn to see the world as clearly as you possibly can?”

For argument’s sake
Why do we argue? To out-reason opponents, prove them wrong, and, most of all, to win! Right? Philosopher Daniel H. Cohen shows how our most common form of argument – a war in which one person must win and the other must lose – misses out on the real benefits of engaging in active disagreement.

5 ways to listen better
In our louder and louder world, says sound expert Julian Treasure, “We are losing our listening.” In this short, fascinating talk, Treasure share five ways to re-tune your ears for conscious listening – to other people and the world around you.

What reality are you creating for yourself?
Reality isn’t something you perceive; it’s something you create in your mind. Isaac Lidsky learned this profound lesson firsthand, when unexpected life circumstances yielded valuable insights. In this introspective, personal talk, he challenges us to let go of excuses, assumptions and fears, and accept the awesome responsibility of being the creators of our own reality.

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