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Is It Worth Listening To People You Disagree With?

We get stronger, not weaker, by engaging with ideas and people we disagree with, says Zachary R. Wood. In an important talk about finding common ground, Wood makes the case that we can build empathy and gain understanding by engaging tactfully and thoughtfully with controversial ideas and unfamiliar perspectives. “Tuning out opposing viewpoints doesn’t make them go away,” Wood says. “To achieve progress in the face of adversity, we need a genuine commitment to gaining a deeper understanding of humanity.”

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TED: Ideas Worth Spreading
TED: Ideas Worth Spreadinghttps://www.ted.com/
TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment, and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

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CONVERSATIONS

  1. Ted, this article hits to a class I currently teach to 9th and 10th graders. It is Classical Writings on ancient philosophy and part of the exercises I give on different view points seems to draw out the best in them. I explain and confirm as what you have written that its important to listen to people you disagree with. Thank you

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