Tell me your story…

(I was fascinated by the concept of the Human Library. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia about them: The Human Library is an international organization and movement that first started in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2000. It aims to address people’s prejudices by helping them to talk to those they would not normally meet. The organisation uses a library analogy of lending people rather than books.)*

I lived in my self-made bubble

Stretching it just enough to avoid trouble

I met people like-minded, with similar lives

In my chosen community, I definitely did thrive

When I felt the need to expand my horizons

I would travel (as a tourist) to exotic destinations

Or read a book, or watch a film about a different land

Without making the slightest effort to understand

How others led their lives, because even when I tried

To learn about others, quite frankly, deep inside

I had no intention to connect with them at all-

I had chosen to surround myself with a self-made wall

Of  superiority, privilege, exclusivity, arrogance

Completely oblivious of my obvious ignorance

I had never taken the time to listen to any voice

That did not mirror my own, I realize now that was my choice..

**

The turning point came one day, out of the blue

I stumbled upon the Human Library, a concept new

To me-  living people were the books here

“Reading” to an audience, as  volunteers

From  stigmatized groups- sharing stories

From their lives, their remarkable histories

On hearing my first story I was fascinated

All my preconceived ideas were decimated

I found myself immersed in this person’s narrative

For once I felt empathetic, it was as if I could live 

The narrator’s life vicariously while hearing her talk

It was the first time I had actually tried to walk

In another person’s shoes- I was transformed

My prior view of the world had been myopic and deformed

**

I have continued to read human books since then

But that experience provided me more enlightenment-

Now I make an effort to understand the world around me

To un-judge people, get to the bottom of their story

Many uncomfortable truths the process has revealed

But by learning empathy, my soul I have healed…

 

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Human_Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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