Hate and extremism touch us far too many times.

I grew up hearing stories about our great uncle Alexander Didur, who died as a prisoner of war in Korea.  In our hometown, some of our best friends grew up without a brother killed in the Vietnam war.  Years later, terrorism has ended the lives of several friends from our hometown.  These are the moments that can only be endured, but not fixed.

In our day to day world, that is not true.  We have a major opportunity to unite together and utilize our “soft power” to counter the bias, hate and extremism that exists in our world.  We greatly outnumber the bad actors and we can decide to use our collective soft power in many ways.

We can volunteer to help youth in our communities.  Even one day makes a difference.

We can support our military veterans, who have put their lives on the line to protect our freedom, when they return home.  As an example, at VETTED, we help our returning military leaders pursue an educational and networking path that will help the transition from the battle field to the board room.

We can donate to NGOs and non-profits who are completely centered on building a safer world. Donate can mean your time, not just money.  Your knowledge and network is more of an asset than you may realize.

And we can be a check on each other by toning down the bias and the shouting and the grand standing that all too often leads to more anger, bias and hate.  If we understand how our brain works, we realize how futile counter protesting really is.

Back to TEDx Austin……..I was invited to speak by Cassaundra Melgar-C’De Baca, CEO of VETTED, of which I am a board member.  The goal of this TEDx talk was to reflect on what we (Haroon K. Ullah) and myself learned in co-writing Countering Hate and what it could mean for all of us.

I’m looking forward to your insights as you watch the talk below.  Please share so we can all learn from each other.

Best, Bob

Interested in learning more about Countering Hate, click here.

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