ArLyne's Diamonds

A running commentary of ideas

Friday, July 22, 2016

Breaking Down the Walls of Fear and Hate

Given what's going on in the world, this seemed a timely message.  

Years ago I produced a series of programs called Breaking Down the Walls of Fear and Hate which accompanied a display of photographs showing the atrocities in the Warsaw Ghetto. The snapshots had been taken by a German soldier on his birthday (how sick!) and eventually were found again and given to the Smithsonian Institute - which lent them out for programs such as the one I developed. 

We had over thirty speakers over seven weeks - and the series won the Human Relations Award that year. Among the seven panels was one featuring religious leaders of different religions, educators, holocaust survivors from different cultures, members of criminal justice and others. My discussion with each of them when inviting them to speak was to talk about how we could break down the walls - not build them up worse.

People have different points of view. Each is sure that their perspective is the only right and good one - but honorable people, highly educated and dedicated, can and do disagree with each other as to the right way to do something.

We need to learn to listen. Not to automatically disagree and attack back.

We need to be more careful before we lump all people of "a certain kind" as one and consider them the enemy. Yet, we also need to protect our country - it's a tightrope.

On a smaller level - when I work with clients who are dealing with horrible levels of conflict, I know that the things that go unsaid need to be said in order for them to be dealt with. I am reminded of the sign that was on the wall of Dr. Mike Schmidt with whom I worked when I started out as a therapist. It said:
The truth shall set you free But first it will make you feel miserable
For those who always plaster a smile on their face and only say the negative things they believe in a whisper behind their hand - I say wrong!  Nothing can change until and unless we talk about it.

In order to break down the walls of fear and hate we need to talk about what we believe, feel, have assumed and have been told. 

Talk, share, listen - and change.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home