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  • I am unabashedly a daddy's girl.

  • My daddy is the first person to have told me that I was beautiful.

  • He often told me that he loved me,

  • and he was one of my favorite people in the entire world,

  • which was why it was really challenging

  • to discover that we had a deep ideological divide

  • that was so sincere and so deep

  • that caused me to not talk to him for 10 years.

  • Before the term was coined,

  • I canceled my father.

  • In the last few years,

  • cancel culture has of course come into great prominence.

  • It's existed throughout time,

  • but cancel culture in the bigger society

  • is when a person in prominence says or does something

  • that we, the people, disagree with,

  • and the decision is made to make them persona non grata.

  • They are done.

  • They are not to be revered.

  • They are not to be a part of our world anymore.

  • And that is in the public realm.

  • I'm going to talk to you today about the private realm.

  • When we choose to cancel the people in our circle,

  • the people in our core,

  • the people who love us and who we love,

  • and it has been mutually beneficial,

  • but due to a deep and sincere ideological divide,

  • we make the decision to cancel them out of our lives.

  • I want to suggest that cancel culture needs to change,

  • and instead we need to move to compassion culture.

  • But before I go there,

  • let me tell you two of the premises that exist

  • when we indulge in cancel culture.

  • One, we have to believe that we're right.

  • A hundred percent,

  • no possibility of being wrong.

  • And two, the other person,

  • the person we're going to cancel,

  • clearly does not have the ability

  • to change, to grow, to develop.

  • Obviously, both of these are problematic

  • because sometimes we're not right.

  • I don't know about you, but there have been times in my life

  • when I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was right

  • only to discover that I was wrong,

  • badly wrong, completely missed the mark.

  • So if it could happen to me and perhaps it's happened to you,

  • perhaps it could happen to others.

  • The second is a little even more challenging

  • because I know that I've changed over the years.

  • Haven't we all?

  • Though the core parts of Betty have pretty much stayed the same,

  • there have been key elements that have changed drastically.

  • The Betty of eight years old was not the same as the Betty of 18,

  • which was not the same as 28, which was not the same as 38.

  • I've changed.

  • And if I'm able to change,

  • shouldn't I extend grace to believe that others can change too?

  • So what should we do?

  • Instead of canceling people, we should use the tool called compassion.

  • I find the definition of compassion is a fascinating one.

  • And it's not one that I hear people talk about.

  • Compassion means to suffer with someone.

  • To suffer alongside them.

  • Imagine.

  • When someone, say, Grandpa,

  • says that thing that's caused you to decide

  • he's no longer invited to Thanksgiving,

  • what if instead we chose to suffer alongside him?

  • We decided that our love was so big, so deep, so strong

  • that we were willing to suffer,

  • even when it could be potentially painful.

  • Now let's be clear.

  • I am not denying anyone's right to cancel anyone else.

  • What I'm suggesting is that maybe that's not the best way.

  • When we think about the situation with Grandpa at Thanksgiving,

  • if we choose to cancel him,

  • we are no longer in proximity to him.

  • Not only do we not get to hear his point of view,

  • we don't get to share ours.

  • What if we're the only person,

  • because of our deep connection and love and affection for our grandfather --

  • and substitute anyone you choose.

  • What if we're the ones to plant seeds of change,

  • seeds of influence,

  • seeds of difference.

  • Now, to be fair,

  • I cannot promise you that just because you plant the seed,

  • that it will get water,

  • that it'll get any sunlight or even a little fertilizer.

  • But what I can tell you is that if you don't plant it,

  • who will?

  • I find it interesting,

  • this idea of suffering alongside someone.

  • It means that we are choosing to value the totality of the person

  • rather than one particular aspect,

  • like a framework or a mindset or a belief system.

  • We're choosing to believe that the entire person is more valuable

  • than any of the individual parts.

  • And I found an amazing duo who demonstrated this beautifully.

  • Perhaps you've heard of them.

  • The late justices

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia

  • were close, close friends.

  • And they were completely divided in terms of belief systems.

  • In fact, Antonin Scalia once said,

  • "What's not to like, other than her thoughts on the law."

  • He believed she was wrong.

  • She believed he was wrong.

  • They did not shift in that point of view whatsoever.

  • And yet they had tea together every week,

  • and every New Year's Eve,

  • they spent it together with their families.

  • They went on family vacations together.

  • They chose to suffer with each other rather

  • than to cancel each other.

  • Their love and respect for each other

  • continued to grow,

  • even though they never saw eye to eye.

  • I imagine that curiosity might be a part of that.

  • That if we choose to be curious about that which is different,

  • we might discover something along the way.

  • After all, if we are who we are because of our lived experiences,

  • isn't that true for someone else?

  • And have we ever decided to use that tool of empathy,

  • of walking a mile or so in someone else's shoes

  • to really discover the context for why they believe what they believe?

  • Now, by now you're probably saying,

  • "Yeah, OK, Betty, this sounds good.

  • But what about you?

  • What about you and your dad?"

  • It's a fair question.

  • After 10 years of not talking to my dad,

  • I picked up the phone one day, called him and said,

  • "I bet if it were up to you,

  • you'd probably go back in time and change some things.

  • I know I would.

  • But since we can't,

  • how about we start again?"

  • And he said,

  • "Yes, because I love you.

  • I always have. And I always will."

  • I am so grateful that I made that call

  • because there was no way for me to know

  • that a few years later my dad would develop Alzheimer's.

  • And a few years after that he would die.

  • And we never saw eye to eye about the thing that divided us,

  • ever.

  • But our love continued.

  • It continued through those 10 years when we didn't speak

  • and it continued in the six years after.

  • So I am encouraging us to become a society of people

  • that choose compassion over canceling.

  • I'm asking us to consider

  • that curiosity might be a better practice.

  • That we might choose empathy,

  • that we might choose to have a love that is so deep, so wide,

  • so strong that it can surpass differences.

  • Why are we so scared of differences anyway?

  • I also want us to be a people that plant seeds,

  • seeds of change, seeds of influence,

  • seeds of diversity.

  • Again, I cannot promise to you or anyone else

  • that planting that seed is going to make a difference.

  • But what if it does?

  • I am the sum of who I am

  • because of everything that I've been exposed to.

  • My mind has changed over the years

  • and grown because of the people in my life who planted seeds in me,

  • some that I saw and some that I didn't.

  • So wouldn't it be great

  • if instead of having a cancel culture

  • we create a compassion culture

  • where we are willing to suffer alongside the ones we love,

  • because we love them.

  • And can't we become a community that plants seeds?

  • After all, if we don't, who will?

  • Thank you.

Transcriber:

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A2 TED cancel compassion betty suffer culture

How compassion could save your strained relationships | Betty Hart

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/27
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