Sunday, December 20, 2009

Being the Other

How about an inter faith, inter group, inter difference programme where instead of just exchanging platitudes - as happens at many of these well meaning groups - about each other's perspectives, people spend an intense week in an unfamiliar environment actually practising being the other? George Soros, get your teeth into this one please. Here's how it might work. let's say we had a Jewish Moslem camp. Each child is assigned a trained child-facilitator of the other faith. The job of the faciltator is to guide a Moslem child through a week of being Jewish. Activities are structured so that the Moslem child does Jewish ceremonies, experiences anti-Semitism, etc. The Jewish Children spend a week being Moslem. They pray or eat as Moslems do, expereince the streotyping Moslems encounter, and literally walk a mile in the shoes of the other.

This sensitization process could also b used across other divides, such as abled/disabled, although there it would be challenging to make it a two-way, mutual process, as how does a legless person walk a mile as an able bodoed persaon? And how can a blind person experience the inability to see of the seeing?

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