It has been a month since we all finished our amazing trip to England and landed back in real life. Some of us returned to their every-day job, some of us to university. We’ve met our family and friends and listened to our news (each and every one of us to our own version of news). Between all of that – I’m afraid we returned also to our bad habits.
The environment that we’re in has a massive effect on our behavior. It’s easy to be peaceable and open-minded in the Lake District. It’s easy to listen to the other side when you know that it’s one of the things you came to do (actually – it’s never easy to listen, especially if your points of view collide, but you feel more willing to do so). It’s even harder to open up your heart and listen when you’re in this hectic reality. When you’re standing at checkpoints (from both sides of the checkpoint). When you feel the need to be suspicious and fear “them”. When you’re not allowed to go to visit the other side. When you’re limited to facebook posts.
It’s tough, but we shouldn’t give up on talking and listening.
During the cultural evening, when each delegation acts to represent their country, we chose to teach everyone a song that every kid in Israel knows. It called “Ani VeAta” (You and I),
“You and I are going to change the world
You and I, and the rest will come along
It has been said before me, but it does not matter
You and I are going to change the world”
It’s a very optimistic song. The thought that each and every one of us can change the world seems a bit detached from the real world. Me? I can barely influence my close friends, if they are willing to listen (and that’s not always the case). What, for God sake, can I do to change the world?
It has been a month since we all came back to our reality. A month – and I think now is a good time for conclusions and “what’s next?” thoughts.
So… what’s next?
I guess a fair start (or continuation) will be talking and listening. Like the song says, ‘ it does not matter how many people tried it before us. We are going to start our own change – and the rest will follow us. You and I are going to change the world’.
For years I didn’t like this song because I thought it’s too Hippy for me. I’m a realistic person. I don’t like illusions and dreams. But if I want a better world – I have to be the change I want to see in others.
Adi, Israel, February 2014