A Plate of Civility

For your consideration, I am passing along what I consider to be an interesting, 11 minute TED talk by Elizabeth Lesser. It’s titled, Take “the Other” to Lunch. In it she talks about how she as a devout liberal took a Tea Party person to lunch and how they, with a few agreed-upon guidelines, managed to prevent their noon hour from devolving into a raucous food fight (although those are my words and not exactly what she said — okay, not even close). Perhaps it might be possible to learn from messages like this: that more can be accomplished by eating from the plate of civility than by engaging in a yelling match because rigorous scientific research (consisting of AC consulting his navel and its rather impressive collection of lint) has demonstrated conclusively that nobody ever changes anyone else’s mind by yelling at them.

http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

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10 Responses to A Plate of Civility

  1. Ginger says:

    So very true. No time to watch it now, but I shall look at it later.

  2. ~SwAmPy~ says:

    I think back to my days in the classroom and the ‘rules’ we had there . . . whether it be rules of the classroom or titles of our papers . . .
    The titles she mentioned in this talk would NEVER have been allowed during the era in which I taught.
    The outbursts in Congress like screaming, “You’re a liar,” would not have gone unpunished.
    I am stunned by the behaviour of our leaders. I so wish I could gather all of them up and put them in my classroom and teach them what is an acceptable way of dealing with their classmates. There was a New & Different Philosophy of Teaching/Learning that came about during the last years of my career called “Cooperative Learning.” The rules were simple but they worked. I wish someone would introduce this philosophy to Capitol Hill.
    Now, excuse me while I go think about who I might invite to lunch and discuss “otherizing.”

  3. ….Did you just YELL at ME????Hahahaaa……I’ll be watching this this evening…The Gov is wanting me to put in more hours here at work……
    ;>)

  4. Ruth says:

    The speaker packs a lot of wisdom into 11 minutes of talking. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. Lorna says:

    AC, I love TED and don’t know why I don’t make it as sacred a part of the day as my first cup of coffee. I got my dishes done listening to this, and didn’t throw a single one in the process.

  6. Mara says:

    C’est le ton qui fait la musique! And the ‘you can catch more flies with syrup than with vinegar’ thing as well. Being calm and collected will gain you more listening ears than otherwise. (says she very wisely, even when she tends to raise her voice the more excited she gets!)

  7. Mary G says:

    A man convinced against his will/is of the same opinion still. %~

  8. Bernie says:

    I so wish that these people could agree or disagree with a level of respect. Everyone is so busy screaming and hollering and calling each other names that no one hears anything but what they want to hear……if they don’t change their ways then the ways will change them and it will not be pretty……:-)Hugs

  9. Ginnie says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if we could all take “the other” to lunch? My eyes have been opened in the halls of AA … there are so many people who look different from me (not the same color, ethnicity, sex, religion etc., etc.) and yet when I listen to them I become closer and it’s amazing what I can learn. Not quite the same thing as “the other” but close. Good post, AC.

  10. garnetrose26 says:

    This is a wonderful speech. Filled with wisdom. I often go to a chat room. I am a liberal and I get along with the right and the left in there. I find that if I use the manners my mother taught me, I can get along with most everyone. I wish more people would hear what this woman has to say.

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