In this episode of the public radio program Speaking of Faith, (from their website): “Michael McCullough describes science that helps us comprehend how revenge came to have a purpose in human life. At the same time, he stresses, science is also revealing that human beings are more instinctively equipped for forgiveness than we’ve perhaps given ourselves credit for. Knowing this suggests ways to calm the revenge instinct in ourselves and others and embolden the forgiveness intuition.”
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In this post from the pop culture blog Videogum.com, blog author Gabe Delahaye remarks on the unusually civil debate among two comedians who have a famous (among “comedy nerds”) feud about the authorship of their jokes. The relatively well-mannered scene took place in a recent episode of Louis C.K.’s highly-regarded series, Louie. Warning: the scene employs some of the raunchiness and coarse language typical of modern comedy, as does the comments section of the blog post that discusses it. Both are included here because they provide a nice example of how conversation — both in the scene and in the comments section — doesn’t have to be pretty or textbook-polite in order to reach a mutually acceptable conclusion. One can hope that such instances of simple civil discourse will be less remarkable over time. Will they ever be the cultural norm in the United States?
NPR’s Fresh Air featured an interview this week with a ‘violence interruptor’ in Chicago’s streets, and a filmaker who documented the efforts of Cease Fire, the organization that trains and deploys interruptors. One key factor in CeaseFire’s mediation: that the mediator reflect the demographic of the people s/he’s trying to cool down. Read more, and listen to the 44 minute interview, here.
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