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The Other

June 16, 2016

 

The Polish writer Ryszard Kapuscinski has written about 'The Other', namely how Europeans have historically looked at others/non-Europeans as alien, and not included them in discourse, culture, etc... I imagine that this is a fault not only of the West, but on a simple day-to-day basis for all human interactions. The Other of race, or gender, or country, or religion or politics that we all too easily slip in to. It might be as simple as that lady we see in the check-out line that David Foster Wallace speaks about in 'This is Water'. That need for empathy, that need to get out of your own head and try to understand someone else. I mean, there's no simple explanation for the horrors in Orlando this past week. But being able to coldly shoot people means a complete lack of empathy. And the solution to this problems is not creating more 'Others'.

 

There are so many ways to get out of your head, from first of all getting out of your house, getting off a limited internet island, to just meeting and talking to everyone you can. I think art plays a (small?) roll- sometimes, I hope, a big role. But any way you can get out of your head, do it. And if you start seeing someone else as 'The Other', please listen to that moral compass wildly spinning around, telling you that this is wrong.

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