Sunday Snippet: Around The World Acceptance!
A recent TED Talk suggested that perhaps we should consider tourism as one effective avenue to bring people together, face to face in ways to help them learn about each other in an effort to break down inaccurate misconceptions and build trust.
The speaker, Aziz Abu Sarah, is a Palestinian who by his own admission spent considerable time with his brother tossing rocks at Israelis in protest. Sadly however, his brother died shortly after he was captured and beaten for his rock throwing. Remarkably, Aziz decided to not to let his anger and hate overtake him and he took a decidedly different approach to addressing the issue of intolerance.
He goes on to emphasize that when we meet people, real people, it becomes extremely difficult to hate them unequivacobly as opposed to when we simply hate them for their supposed ideals. And it works both ways!
This is very affirming of what we have been doing at WeHaKee Camp for Girls for generations. Each and every summer, girls come together from throughout the country and around the world, from a variety of faiths and religions, from exceptionally varied socio-economical and racially diverse backgrounds. And each and every summer they become friends and have amazing fun on the shores of Hunter Lake.
They live together, they eat together, they play and pray together and they accept each other for who they really are. Do they get along perfectly at every moment – well, of course not. There are many different ways to do things, different ways to think about things, different emotions about different issues – so yes, conflict does occur. But because they know each other has individuals first, they are able to work through the differences of opinion by problem solving and compromise. They first accept each other and work from there.
When arriving at WeHaKee in the circle overlooking Hunter Lake, visitors first notice the painting of a large world in the center of the pavement. Around the perimeter of the world are the words ‘Worlds Apart, Coming Together’ and ‘Camp WeHaKee’ splashed across the center. It reminds all of us daily of why what we do at WeHaKee is so important well beyond our acres on the shores of Hunter Lake. We truly do bring worlds together in the northwoods of Wisconsin while increasing understanding and acceptance across the globe.
Thanks for reading and have a great week everyone!