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  • Okay.

  • Keep flapping.

  • Keep clapping.

  • I know, I know.

  • I thought after all that buildup, I'd be taller as well.

  • So I've been on a journey almost a quest to find and develop and inhabit a kind of strength that makes me feel powerful.

  • That helps me feel effective and purposeful in my life.

  • But that doesn't wear me out.

  • That doesn't fray my relationships and doesn't cause collateral damage for those around me.

  • And I'd like to, with your permission, take you to one of the quiet, dim places where I saw some of that kind of strength being developed.

  • Are you ready to go with me?

  • Okay.

  • Thanks for being so willing.

  • So where we're going is a place where young people have been going for tens of thousands of years.

  • Sometimes it was a cave.

  • Sometimes it was a grove of oaks.

  • In this place in time, it's a summer camp lodge lit only by candles and around the perimeter stand dozens of carrying adult mentors and seated among them, or 15 or 20 young people initiates who have told their community that they're ready to take some steps toward a healthy adulthood.

  • Now, in sort of more traditional rites of passage and initiations.

  • There's often scarification, maybe even knocking out a tooth were fast in some sort of physical ordeal, and that ritual was ostensibly put in place so that the initiate could prove that they had the courage and the strength to take care of themselves and take care of the tribe.

  • But tonight we're gonna witness a different kind of ritual that develops a different kind of strength.

  • So, one of the time each young person stands up in front of the mentor and use.

  • Hear the questions begin?

  • What are you afraid of?

  • What is it inside of you that's keeping you a child?

  • What secret are you keeping that prevents us from knowing who you really are?

  • What do you so angry about?

  • What are you hoping for?

  • And we begin to hear the stories in response.

  • The succession of abusive stepfather is the struggles in school, the pain of being bullied.

  • We're becoming the bully, the descent into alcohol and drug abuse.

  • Each young person, in turn, begins to tell their truth, begins to talk about their pain, their struggles, their hopelessness to this group of strangers in the dark and over time.

  • As more truth pours out, there's this crescendo that happens, this peak experience of vulnerability.

  • And sometimes they rage, and sometimes they weep on.

  • The mentors don't offer any comfort.

  • They don't even pass a tissue.

  • Nothing to interrupt that flow of truth on emotion.

  • And then the initiate will take a deep breath as the crescendo of vulnerability pulls back like a stormy tied take a deep breath, square their shoulders.

  • Take another deep breath.

  • And sometimes through a film of snot and tears, you see this face, not a face of somebody who's beaten were broken.

  • But the face of somebody shining who's been through an ordeal, who's proven their courage proven their metal been vulnerable, showed their truth.

  • And on the other side that found not teasing or authorization but belonging on love.

  • Witnessing these kinds of rites of passage has been part of my journey toward finding a kind of strength that I want to have in my life.

  • And through my journey I've found howto incorporated a little bit, and it's giving me so much.

  • Maury's in my relationship and so much more confidence in my leadership and Maur access more full access to my full humanity, and that's given me the capacity to create more positive change in my life in the lives of others.

  • And I wish I wish I could say that I got there easily and then I got there right away.

  • But my path was much more complex when I was 15.

  • The age of those initiates in the story that I'm telling, I knew I wanted to be strong.

  • That's all I knew.

  • Doesn't everybody want to be strong?

  • Didn't I need to be stronger?

  • At least look strong To be an adult, to be a guy to be a dude and without being aware of the consequences or the alternatives I chose, the only kind of strength that I knew was out there, and that's a strength characterized by what I call the four bullets.

  • The traditional mode of strength involves power over a certain power over other people to get things done to impose will.

  • It involves a succession of win lose contest to get to determine who gets toe wield that power over, and those win lose contests get codified into a system of oppression over whole groups of people and even the natural world, and even the winners in this system have to repress huge parts of themselves to be able to stay in the game any peace.

  • And he thought, Any characteristic that doesn't fit in the box has to be repressed.

  • Not a great system, right?

  • But that's the one that I chose.

  • And for years I worked to be the smartest in the room.

  • I worked to stay safe and in control by tamping down my emotions and tamping down the emotions of others around me.

  • I never saw communication and vulnerability and others as an invitation to closeness.

  • I listened carefully just to formulate my witty were crushing response.

  • So what did that get me?

  • What did acting strong in the full bullets get the four bullets get me?

  • Well, my friends all thought I was an antagonistic jerk.

  • My relationship life was a series of short term flings that ended in unhappiness, disdain, jealousy.

  • I was fired from four jobs in a row just because I hated being told what to do.

  • But when I was given power when I was given authority, I used that power over the people in my employees and my colleagues on that alienated them.

  • And it left me feeling even more alone.

  • And worse than that.

  • While I was antagonizing my friends and objectifying my girlfriends, I was using that same power on myself.

  • I was repressing really important parts of myself.

  • My passion, my creativity, my sexuality, my spirituality.

  • All of that was ignored, leaving me aimless and without direction.

  • Maybe some of you have fallen into the same set of choices now, so I would I wanted something different.

  • But there are a series of pressures that maintain this system of the four bullets.

  • Men in particular get rewards and status for acting tough for being assertive, for ignoring emotions.

  • And we get called out when we behave outside of that box, we get called soft.

  • When we act collaboratively, we get called passive when we stopped to listen.

  • And that's just the nicest P word that we get called when we step out of the box, isn't it?

  • Yeah, So it took another set of disasters.

  • It took my dream job teaching middle school to just blow up.

  • The kids hated me.

  • They didn't They weren't buying what I was selling.

  • It took the relationship that I thought was gonna be my life partnership turned it into a fireball of recrimination, Sze, betrayal and infidelity for me to finally hit bottom and make another choice a different choice.

  • A choice outside the four bullets, you know, one in three only one in three men will seek professional help when they need it.

  • I tried to treat myself by going outside like I normally did.

  • I tried tried my version of forest bathing where I normally got a lot of renewal and health.

  • But what I found out there at this point in my life was just shame and anxiety.

  • So I knew I needed help.

  • I went into therapy.

  • I ignored the statistic.

  • I ignored the stigma and I did the work.

  • And in therapy I found that when I lost it when I cried when I raged, when I gave myself over when I lost it, I gained things.

  • I left sessions feeling exhausted, drained, sure, but electric and alive with possibilities and knowledge.

  • And I've come to find that that is a relatively common experience, that people feel strong when they do things that aren't labeled strong.

  • And I'm calling this new system of strength this new tradition of strength.

  • The four gifts on the four gifts include Power with win, win, Inclusion and vulnerability and the way those show up in My Life these days that now when I listen, I'm listening to build understanding and relationship rather than as a way to use it on you later.

  • And I'm learning to validate emotions my own and other people's knowing that emotions don't need to be changed or fixed.

  • And I'm learning over and over again to value vulnerability, to tell the whole truth the messy truth.

  • When I first started dating my now wife, I was feeling really anxious and a little unsettled, and I finally figured out to say to her, I'm scared.

  • I'm I'm scared.

  • I'm scared of this intimacy.

  • I'm scared of what this relationship might ask of me as it deepens, and she just opened her arms wider.

  • So this strength, this kind of strength, Mr New traditions drink that's always been there.

  • It's not new.

  • I didn't really discover it.

  • It's been there in indigenous cultures, in nonviolent movements and in women's traditions.

  • It's always been there, waiting for us to choose it.

  • Another example.

  • Just the other day, just last week, I got a call from that tall kid with his arm around my neck.

  • Cyrus.

  • He was going through his first break up.

  • I've known him since he was 13.

  • He was going through his first break up and he was feeling all of the fields.

  • He was feeling all the hurts, all the sense of betrayal, the confusion.

  • And he was feeling really angry, and he was embarrassed about how angry he waas.

  • It's not just that Listen to him validated his emotions, didn't try and change or fix him.

  • And I think he went away feeling a little a little better.

  • I know that I left with a big grin on my face, thinking, Wow, what a great example of the new strength.

  • What a great example of the four gifts.

  • There's this young person fully emotional, fully aware of his emotions and reaching out to another guy for help.

  • How cool is that?

  • Now?

  • I'm not gonna make any claim that living in the four gifts is easy.

  • It takes work.

  • But the fact that it takes work, the fact that it's not easy tells me that it can actually be called strength, right?

  • Inclusion is hard.

  • It involves building bridges.

  • It involves communicating, and people are scared to death of emotional expression and vulnerability.

  • Right?

  • People are terrified.

  • Were terrified.

  • I'm terrified of it.

  • So what I'm saying is the fact that it's so frightening means that when we choose, when you choose a vulnerability, you are being strong.

  • Vulnerability is strength.

  • And I'm talking about it today.

  • I'm telling you my story in the hope that you can think about some of the choices you're making and some of the choices that you have to make going forward because we all need.

  • I believe we all need a source of inexhaustible communal self generating strength to handle the challenges ahead in our lives.

  • The personal challenges of finding your purpose.

  • Maybe becoming a parent growing older, growing older, ain't for sissies.

  • And then we've got these cultural challenges, right?

  • What are we gonna do?

  • How are we gonna handle a pandemic?

  • How are we gonna reclaim our democracy?

  • How are we going to survive and thrive in climate change?

  • We're all going to need to find some strength.

  • And I'll be honest.

  • You know, my path toward this strength isn't anywhere near as straightforward as I made it sound in this 15 minute presentation, it was much more interwoven and recursive and strange.

  • And it's a little weird for me to be standing up here.

  • This feels a little bit like I'm talking to you from the old strength, doesn't it?

  • If we were really gonna talk about the four gifts and how to build any strength, we'd ideally be sitting in a circle ideally out in the out of the forest.

  • Right forest bathing again.

  • But we're here tonight.

  • Thank you for listening.

  • I'm just gonna leave you with a few quick questions.

  • What would it be like if we were burly enough to pay attention to all of our emotional complexity?

  • What if you what if you were adventurous enough to investigate all of your hidden parts and not repress any of it?

  • What if you were steady enough to stand with your loved ones when they felt their full emotion and you didn't try and fix or change it?

  • What if we What if you were brave enough to include everybody in your community and this is for the men, my brothers, my brothers out there?

  • What if you were strong enough.

  • What if you were strong enough to listen to women when they told you their stories and you were strong enough to stay right there, believe them and not get defensive?

  • How strong would that feel?

  • No living in these strengths living in these four gifts.

  • Like I said, it's not easy.

  • It takes strength.

  • But that strength is there for the asking.

  • And, you know, being strong and and working out.

  • It's a lot better with a buddy or to write a workout buddy or two.

  • So what do you say we do this together?

  • Thank you.

Okay.

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21世紀のための強さの再定義|チャールズ・マテウス|TEDxPhoenixCollege (Redefining Strength for the 21st Century | Charles Matheus | TEDxPhoenixCollege)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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