Prompt: ‘Practicing border crossing’
Your task is to consciously make a decision to interact with another person who you have not communicated with before and who has a different background and life experiences from yourself. Your choice should involve a level of discomfort; a degree of perceived difference is necessary. However, please do ensure your own safety. Enter a discussion in a spirit of openness. Engage in a conversation of meaning, beyond the basic scripts such as “How are you? Fine. It’s hot today”. Ask open-ended questions that generate genuine responses and promotion of dialogue. Practice listening skills. After the interaction, reflect on the dialogue. Describe how easy or difficult it was for you to comprehend another individual’s worldview, from their perspective (not yours!). While practicing ‘border crossing’ did you have a chance to understand otherness in its own terms or did you only ‘see’ or acknowledge difference without exploring otherness in more depth?
Please note: If your first attempt at border crossing is unsuccessful, you will need to try again!