Actually, my plan was to create a website about the Middle East conflict to investigate the questions:
- What’s going on?
- How can you explain the conflict?
- What are the reasons?
So i wasted the whole summer pondering on the question: who threw the first stone?
> Whose side are you on?
After all my research and the endless sad stories, at the end of the heated debates in forums & discussions of articles … after all the repartee and tiring fights on Facebook … I didn’t grow any more wise.
Worse, I was exhausted and about to resign.
No one really seemed to want to listen to each other. I felt that the way we fought online was totally symbolic. How we treaten each other in the discussion – even if only on virtual playgrounds – is a mirror image of the real world. Perhaps the inverse conclusion could be drawn. So I thought, if we manage to create a culture of listening and conversation, if we practice understanding, then we could lay the foundations for the same in real life.
The problem was this: Everyone felt he was right and fought wildly that his vision and his pain would be understood. Everyone argued like crazy, but no one really listened. Everyone wanted to have their say, yet very few considered to take the perspective of both sides …
But on one point they all agreed: It had always been like that. Thus it will always be the same.
It is always the others‘ fault, it is an endless cycle. Weapons cannot stop this cycle, but for a short time after the demonstration of power there would be at least an armistice. I thought silently to myself: There must be a different way!
Coming together and listening to each other
Through the effort of changing my perspective, I was also able to recognize the many small flowers that sprouted here and there. On the ruins of despair and hatred there IS a small glimmer of hope and understanding.
When we stop judging each other and start to look into each others‘ eyes… from person to person, then real contact on the same level is possible. If we allow us to accept the pain of the others (and try not to rationalize them to make them vanish), then a first step towards peace is done.
I am happy and full of hope when I see the variety of projects and people striving for peace in these times full of conflict. I see my duty as a peace-reporter (reports on the way to peace!) in showing projects and opportunities to help. In order to provide a counterweight to the everyday reporting. There are always only the latest messages of escalations making the news, only the images of violence and destruction. How about this headline: Unbelievable but true! Construction of a fence right across a Palestinian village prevented by peaceful means! or: Palestinian & Israeli teenagers plant seeds for peace on this year’s Summer Camp!
You and I, we make a difference. We can make THE difference.
Help and take part!
- Write me about projects which are worth to be added and talked about here.
- Share the articles on your website, by email or on Facebook.
- Meet up with people of „the other side“ and take a picture of you
both, as a symbolic sign that peace between human and human is possible! Tell
the world your story!