…I will stand up for those who are disadvantaged in the allocation of housing”.
“I will only rent my apartments to those who have fewer opportunities.”
Have you ever caught yourself doing this? Do you care so much about a cause that you forget to change your perspective?
Because of bad experiences, I had the urge to stand up for people who are marginalized because of their origin.
I remember my silent and at the same time firm driver of my actions: I wanted to show that “we” could do it. When the time comes, only rent to those who have fewer opportunities.
How narrow-minded. How unimaginative. How visionless.
When it first came, and with the exciting journey of discovering one’s self in this new home, this goal was redundant.
I grappled with my thoughts and realized:
📍 I pick people up better with fairness and empathy.
📍 If I only represent one side, then I create a parallel society. Exactly the opposite of what I advocate for.
📍 “Injustice and injustice make no right”. So I exclude the other side, then it becomes a vicious circle.
📍 Decisive are values that we develop together in society.
📍 It’s important to question the impact of impacts of my own actions.
How one sided it was of me.
Hans Rosling calls this instinct the “single perspective instinct” and clearly explains in his book “Factfulness” that social problems are never easy. These are complex. There is not only one cause and not only one solution.
He goes on to describe how experts/activists can be blind to developments because they want to be useful.
This protective instinct does not work in many areas, even if this instinct is still active in our parents, generations later 🙂
From most films and media reports I can see how dangerous it is to deal with only one side of the story.
It is therefore an exciting exercise to swap roles with other “activists” who have a different opinion.
Rolf Dobelli says about this in his book “The Art of the Good Life”:
“It’s about stepping into the shoes of others and actually walking around in them” […] “And because that’s not always possible, here’s another recommendation. Read novels. […] Immersing yourself in a good novel […] is an efficient intermediate solution – between thinking and doing.”
I invite you to even put yourself in the shoes of the “rejector”.
Fighting bitterly for exactly the opposite is not the solution.
I’m allowed to practice looking at multiple sides of the stories.
Do you occasionally step into other people’s shoes?