what's going on in the world, this seemed a timely message.
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
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.
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.
need to learn to listen. Not to automatically disagree and attack back.
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.
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:
truth shall set you free
But first it will make you feel miserable
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.
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
Labels: Communication Testimony, honest communication, listen and learn, seek to understand