Mao: One ear can drain a thousand tongues.
Harvey Jackins: Love is the way people naturally feel about each other.
Marshall Rosenberg: Empathy before education.
Martin Gabel: Don’t just do something, stand there.
Ram Dass: Be an environment in which healing can take place.
Most know how to talk. More of us know how to judge. Maybe the time has come, instead of adding ideas or awareness to the mix, to add space.
1. The first phase only takes courage and a little time.
If you are a podcast creator: with a mike; if you are a vlogger: with a camera; walk up to someone who seems to have some time on their hands and looks unlike you, and ask: What do you think about national unity?
The goal is to listen patiently, warmly, unjudgmentally, relaxedly, friendly.
Only when the person has nothing more to add, ask questions like: can you speak a little about how come you think like that, or: can you give some examples of what you’re saying? Nothing critical, manipulative, correcting.
When you pick someone outside of your comfort zone, they’ll be likely to hear about how they feel excluded by Israeli society in ways foreign to you.
Maybe hand them a card with your phone number/email address to tell you when they did the same with others and how well it went.
Then, ask if they’d like to meet others who answered you too.
Make a note of the date, time, and surprises to you from the meeting.
Since it seems that many men get the wrong idea when a woman is all-ears for them, it might make sense for some women to ask just women.
2. Phase two: bring your ‘students’ together. Ask them: what went well, what was hard, what help would you need, and what’s your next step?
This, to have them being listened to to help them grow, not for education.
3. When you’re sick and tired of this (or a little bit sooner), come together (Zoom) with other ‘teachers’ to go through the same four questions.
This group could divide and snowball into a nationwide (worldwide) feat.
The whole thing needs no money, no formal structure, no critical input.
Our underlying ideas are to discover how right G^d is that He entrusted us with this Land and to hasten the ending of all human suffering.
4. If you really went for discomfort (but not: danger), they may be curious after you too. They might ask you how you see unity, or something else.
Ask with a smile if they would just let you think out loud whatever you would say. If they say yes, enjoy. Try not to argue your case but speak from the heart, too. You may add: I’m just saying what I think today; tomorrow, it may be different. Know when to end. If they start to argue, politely stop.
Some ‘secret’ ingredients: listening, empathy, trust in human nature, one-on-one level, equality, bearing discomfort, breaking social barriers.
But you did great if only once you stepped out of your comfort zone and listened to someone without interruptions, advice, criticisms, or approval.