Get to know it! Feel it! Discuss it!
We would surely hate one another less and would be better at handling our prejudices and reflecting on our stereotypes if we had the chance to get to know the situation and challenges of the groups that become targets. However, beside objective information, personal encounters and stories are also of great importance. Everyone has questions, presuppositions, and some experience with members of different social groups. If we get the chance to discuss these with honesty and without taboos with those in question, if we can personally get to know members of groups that we otherwise only have superficial knowledge about, it becomes easier for us to understand and get closer to the other.
The members of numerous vulnerable groups hold workshops in schools, so that students can get closer to the situation of the Roma, gay, disabled, homeless or any other group through personal stories, objective information and honest conversations.
Through board games, participants get to see what decisions they would make as people living in poverty, new mums looking for employment, or underprivileged students. It is of course a lot easier to give advice from the outside, about what could be done better and how. But if through a game we find ourselves in the skin of another, and are left to make decisions understanding their situation better, and then we are faced with the consequences of our decisions, we can experience and understand the circumstances that strongly affect the everyday lives of those in question.
Beside the workshops and games, thematic city walks also provide a great opportunity to get to know and understand the other better. Because despite the fact that we live in the same city, often we experience radically different realities. It’s useful to sometimes look at the place we live from a new perspective, to understand the values and problems that define the past and present of our Jewish, Roma, homeless or Muslim fellow citizens.
If we had more chance to get to know each other better from a young age, if there were more conversations without taboos, a lot less hatred would be formed between groups.