What heals us and enables us to be together is the ability to hear each other; to "see" each other - because when we have truly seen each other we can build the bridges between us to grow together.
My sister and I have spoken about this at length; a number of times; how we see the world - how our childhood shaped the way we interact with others; how we see authority; how we interpret signals; how we view ourselves in relation to others.
Now that we are older we are able to consciously work with these nuances; but at times I am still taken aback by the way in which i react to someone; how I enter a room; what I consider to be good enough; and also what I am willing to do; or try.
Ang and I decided to speak about this at 2 talks at TGIF early on 2 Friday mornings. Ang's synopsis was:
"You don't know what you don't know. Or to quote Donald Rumsfeld, 'Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.'
Putting ourselves in someone else's shoes is an inadequate way to understand their point of view. Because we're wearing their shoes but still with our own particular context that frames our vision. The experience of being other - black in the presence of white, female in the presence of males - automatically colours our thoughts, our actions, our instincts. How does this affect our interactions and how important is it for us to always be self-aware in the presence of others?
We will have a conversation that explores these unconscious dynamics and how we each have a responsibility to exercise awareness of self and others in order to be sensitive to how we build a society which is respectful and responsive."