If there’s one thing we all agree on, it’s that no one seems to agree about anything! There is no need to go into specific examples of the polarization affecting societies around the world – we all seem to have a list of examples on hand at all times.
I was in Bolivia last week to sit down with our new Project Coordinators, Dayana and Marcelo, as well as the President of our Bolivian board and former Project Coordinator, Andrea, to discuss this year and the work ahead. Andrea, in light of the current socio-political reality in Bolivia, was inspired to develop a cascade around democracy, citizenship, and differing perspectives, so we spent a lot of time building lessons around recognizing our own and others’ perspectives on reality, values, and principles and creating a space of introspection, reflection, compassionate empathy, and respect in our communities.
It was a wonderful experience as we worked and debated our own differing ideologies and perspectives emerged, creating a rich well of thought and experience to draw on and build around.
During the week, with all this in mind, I enjoyed scanning the streets for the opposing graffiti messages left over from the protests in November 2019. What would we write if we all would objectively evaluate our own perspectives, while respectfully and compassionately empathizing with those of a different view? What would a political campaign sound like in that environment? It’s a worthwhile daydream, and I look forward to seeing what happens when students in Bolivia take on the challenge this year!