Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • I have been studying cross-cultural approaches to resolving

  • conflict for almost twenty years.

  • I am passionate about this subject.

  • I still, even after all that time get that awful, sick feeling

  • in my stomach when someone is mad at me

  • Conflict indeed is messy, risky, scary and as we all know

  • can be extremely dangerous

  • After all that time I have come to understand

  • that conflict is one of the best things

  • that we've got going for us

  • So, can you think of a time where your life

  • has gotten better, where you have improved somehow

  • without some degree of discord?

  • It might be a battle of ideas, should I take the job, should I not take the job

  • but if everything is going along the same

  • I know I don't change. We need conflict to push us forward

  • The tough needs to come so that the good can occur.

  • It is as Euripides once said there is in the worst of fortunes the best

  • chance of a happy change. So, I find this true in my own life

  • I thought you like a little snippet of me

  • but first we have to stop and look at it wasn't I the cutest darn

  • thing at nine years old?

  • I wanted to be Gloria Steinam when I grew up!

  • So that's the glasses, you've got that!

  • This gives you some of the things

  • that propelled me forward. You'll notice that

  • with all of these there is a battle

  • that ensued before I shifted

  • before I was courageous

  • sometimes I was just fighting with myself

  • like not being ready to go to college at 17

  • careful when you skip 8th grade you end up young

  • and I was crying in my mother's lap

  • at 17, which was not good

  • and I realized that I probably instead

  • should go to Mexico on a foreign exchange program

  • which has brought me to this work, I

  • probably wouldn't have starting dating

  • my husband if I hadn't had

  • that so that is one example others are

  • when I am fighting with other people

  • like my parents when they moved me to Minneapolis

  • again a good thing over the long haul

  • and I had a whole set of contentious meetings

  • in my late 20's early 30's that drove

  • me to get mediation training

  • and then sometimes we fight with life

  • and in my case you see that a friend died way way

  • too young and our loss

  • of her pushed me to go to graduate

  • school in something that I loved and also

  • to start writing. So I've needed conflict

  • I need the battles to get this far anyway

  • So my job is to look for common tips and techniques

  • that you can find around the world to deal with difficult

  • circumstances. Another way to look at it is I look to

  • see what a wise grandmother would tell me if I was in India

  • if I was in Panama if I was in Italy

  • or in Thailand.

  • What am I told where no matter where I go?

  • The great news is that there is a wealth

  • of tips and techniques that can be found

  • That can help us overcome tough times

  • but today as you know watching a Ted talk

  • I have a conflict! I only have

  • 10 minutes so I get to tell you just 1 cross cultural tip

  • I'm going to tell you what it is

  • why it works, and how to apply it.

  • Are you ready? OK, here we go...

  • The global tip is

  • when conflict comes...be grateful. I know

  • right...when a guy cuts you off in traffic

  • give thanks. When

  • the woman thinks your ideas are absolutely

  • ridiculous be appreciative and

  • if you live in conflict or post-conflict zones

  • like so many of my students even

  • then we are counseled to count this as

  • a blessing. As counterintuitive as it

  • may sound, finding gratitude in conflict makes

  • us safer and more apt to find resolution.

  • The advice is clear.

  • If we even just start at the world's major religions

  • you'll find in Christianity they'll say

  • Give thanks regardless of the circumstances

  • In the Islamic and Jewish traditions we are told

  • to stop and give praise for whatever

  • comes our way 3 to 5 times a day.

  • And I appreciate in Hinduism they give us a goal to shoot for

  • "Such people have mastered life" this is the idea that

  • whatever comes along on our path that it is good

  • that it is equal and is part of this greater Whole

  • So why is this a global tip? I think

  • brain research is giving us some clues.

  • Here's your brain, I am going to tell you

  • This is your brain, this is your brain on conflict

  • So here we go. Your brain is actually like three

  • or four brains all cobbled together. You'll notice that

  • you've got the limbic system in the middle and these different pieces

  • take turns driving. The limbic system's job, one of its jobs, is to

  • look for threats. To look for things that might hurt you.

  • It is paying attention, "Is that a problem, is that a threat?"

  • "Is that a problem?" And if it sees something

  • it is hard wired to give control to your reptilian brain.

  • And you can see that, it's that dark part down

  • in the base, like a reptile hiding

  • it acts like it too sometimes!

  • But it's job is that if there is an immediate physical threat

  • is to get you into fight flight. So it's to

  • course adrenaline through your body and get you ready

  • to get the heck out of here or to neutralize your opponent.

  • But the problem is if this is not an immediate physical threat that you are dealing with

  • not such a good place to be when in conflict.

  • Now you may have noticed on the previous chart that I am a mother of 3

  • and so when I'm in my reptilian brain or in fight flight

  • this is the point where the screaming teenager is

  • yelling at me and I'm screaming right back!

  • and about 20 minutes later I am

  • desperately regretting what I've just said

  • It is the place of, most of the time, very poor parenting skills

  • I know that no one else can relate to this

  • Where we want to be most of the time if

  • there is not an immediate physical threat, we actually want to be

  • in our neocortex. You can see that, it's the

  • light and fluffy part and your pre-frontal lobes

  • There are amazing in that this part of our

  • brain can think in past, present and future

  • where the reptilian brain only in the present

  • only cares about me

  • So this part of our brain -- past, present and future -- and can handle

  • complex problem solving. With teenagers, good plan, right?

  • If this is the place we want to be in conflict, the wonderful thing is

  • that latest brain research shows that that is where we have to process gratitude

  • We have to be in our neocortex to think about things we are thankful for

  • So when something bad is coming your way this cross-cultural tip

  • tells you to think of 5 things you are thankful for

  • and if you do that you have a fighting chance to get your neocortex

  • and in my case as a mother is to maybe be quiet

  • to ask good questions and to see the bigger picture

  • Something I always try to remember when I'm thinking of my brain

  • is that I'm not only fighting with another

  • every time conflict comes, or fighting with life,

  • I'm actually fighting with my brain and if

  • we can remember that and be kind to ourselves

  • that can be a step forward in conflict as well

  • So this cross-cultural tip goes 1 step further

  • it says not only to be grateful

  • for conflict, but also to be grateful

  • for your opponents. We see this in the Jewish

  • proverb, "Listen to your enemy, for God is talking."

  • We also see this in the opening bow

  • of the Eastern martial artists as they step

  • onto the mat and they bow and say,

  • "Thank you for this opportunity to fight,

  • I recognize that you could hurt or destroy

  • me. Teach me what I have to learn."

  • This is the place where our worst enemies

  • have the potential of becoming our best teachers.

  • The problem is that we so often forget, we are hardwired

  • to forget.

  • And we turn our opponents sadly into things.

  • The Jewish philosopher Martin Buber after the Holocaust

  • talked of this terrible propensity of turning our opponents into things

  • We forget that they have value.

  • and that each of our opponents hold the missing

  • information that we need to resolve the conflict.

  • They are a Thou as we see in that opening bow.

  • Yet, the legacy is so long when we forget.

  • When we turn our opponents into things

  • we run into situations that only live with us but

  • with those who follow us. So how many

  • generations as an example for a family to

  • overcome physical and sexual abuse?

  • When do we as a species stop and recover from

  • slavery, the Holocaust and other forms of genocide?

  • And there are the times where we take other species

  • and we turn them into evil awful things that

  • we need to eliminate. And as we've heard and as we know

  • that legacy is long as well.

  • We need to remember the Thou.

  • Because conflict is calling us to our best.

  • I continue to be attracted to working with people in conflict

  • which seems kind of strange but you know I get

  • to see people shine.

  • I get to see, just as the Zen saying provides, that

  • "An unencumbered stream has no song."

  • Sure, I get to see people at their

  • absolute worst. If you've seen me in conflict

  • you've sometimes seen me at my

  • absolute worst, but I also get to see people sing.

  • I get to hear from a young Bahraini woman

  • who was a student of mine, how she held calm

  • how she held gratitude when the police came to take her

  • away for questioning at 2:30 in the morning.

  • Her family was screaming and crying but held calm

  • and she made it through unscathed and

  • the charge? That she had posted on Facebook that she wanted peace and justice in Bahrain.

  • She is now safely in another country studying.

  • I also get to see a man in his 70's

  • who participated in a series of contentious conversations about homosexuality and

  • its place in their church. And he said to me,

  • "Deidre, all my life I have never considered what it would be feel like not to be welcome.

  • I had never put my feet into my gay parishioners shoes. This conflict changed me."

  • So conflict creates our hero's tests.

  • It creates those life defining moments where we

  • like the encumbered stream

  • can sing our proudest souls' anthems.

  • Plato once said,

  • "I exhort you also to take part in the

  • great conflict, which is the conflict of life."

  • May we each meet each difficulty

  • and each opponent, each opponent,

  • with appreciation and may we engage well.

  • Life brings struggles,

  • may we celebrate those struggles and shine. Thank you very much.

I have been studying cross-cultural approaches to resolving

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

A2 US conflict brain fighting neocortex threat cultural

【TEDx】Celebrate Your Struggles: Deidre Combs at TEDxBozeman

  • 1392 70
    阿多賓 posted on 2014/05/31
Video vocabulary