You know, the whole, ‘Before you criticise someone, walk a mile in their shoes’ thing?
Following on from the post and conversation relating to inequality at the moment still being a race thing in South Africa, what might be a helpful activity is to take a look at how you understand the other person’s argument.
Are you able to jump into the comments and comment from the point of view of the person on the other side of the argument. So, as a white guy, can i comment as if i am a black guy [in terms of point of view] on the whole issue of reconciliation, land redistribution and equality within South Africa [and Americans, can you do this with your whole #Ferguson #BlackLivesMatter conversation]?
eg. Because my grandparents were evicted from their land and forced to move into a less than favourable location, i feel that it is only fair for me to have the opportunity to return to where they originally lived and be given land there.
In terms of the Americaland situation it would be something more like:
eg. I am tired of explaining to my child why he should not wear his hoodie when he goes out at night.
It is clear from some of the conversations that have been happening on the blog and on Facebook that there is a lot of fear, insecurity and mistrust around a number of these issues and i’m wondering if taking a moment to articulate the other person’s argument [you don’t have to full agree with them or believe it, but just seeing if you get it] might help each of us to see better where they are coming from and understand their point of view.
i realise this is a little risky, but i think it could be valuable. Anyone willing to give it a try? Simply take one aspect of the argument or conversation so far and articulate it as if you were bringing it from the other point of view.
Or as Jack Handey puts it, ‘Before you criticise a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way you’ll be a mile away and have his shoes.’