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The Antidote to Anger: Mike Goldman (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Mike Goldman’s talk titled “The Antidote to Anger” at TEDxGainesville conference.

Listen to the audio version here:

TRANSCRIPT:

Understanding Conflict and Its Roots

I believe there’s one thing at the root of harmful conflict, at the root of anger between left and right, Jew and Palestinian, father and son. And I learned that one thing back in 2006. On this particular day at a call with my business coach, Susan. Susan wanted to know how I did on all those things I committed to do the week before.

It was a week from hell with our 12-year-old son. I just couldn’t focus. You see, my son has something called Asperger’s Syndrome. And for those of you that don’t know, Asperger’s is a high functioning form of autism.

And at that point, we’d had some good weeks, but a whole lot of weeks from hell over the last 10 years. Then Susan asked me what I thought I did to cause the bad week. What I did? I didn’t cause his Asperger’s. How is this my fault?

A Week from Hell

Susan changed her tact. She just wanted to know how the week from hell started. So here it is. It’s about 6:30 in the evening. I had had a really tough day. I just wanted to get home, relax, de-stress. I walk in the front door. There’s my son playing his video game, not even acknowledging I walked through the door.

My wife yells from up in the kitchen, “Richie, it’s time to come up for dinner!” And I can tell by her tone, that wasn’t the first time she asked. I don’t need this! I had a tough day! This kid knows every button to push to piss me off. Why can’t he just go upstairs for dinner? Why can’t he do the simple things? Just getting him to brush his teeth and take a shower is a nightmare!

He can’t focus in school! He has no friends. Is he ever going to get through high school or get into college? Is he ever going to get married and have a normal life? And with all this swirling in my head, I explode on this poor kid, “Richie, you get upstairs for dinner right now!” “I just have to finish this level on my game!”

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