The Perspective Project
With the empathy of one,
comes the respect of many.
A Trump voter. A Muslim. A Liberal-Progressive. A Marine. A Lesbian. An African American. A Wealthy CEO. A Policeman. A Syrian. A Convict.
Our country is in a crisis. All we see on social media and in our communities is an ongoing divisiveness that only seems to get worse the more we openly debate. Jesse Jackson said, “Deliberation and debate is the way you stir the soul of our democracy.” We all see these debates on a daily basis every time we open Facebook, and they can get nasty. Most of these debates carry a clear emotional connection to an ideology or belief which is strong enough to make us accept misinformation to solidify our side. But the deeper, more disturbing commonality of every debate that leads to this unwavering emotional bond to our position is the lack of any attempt or desire to understand opposing points of view. We almost always, without fail, take the argument route instead of genuinely attempting to understand the opposing point of view. We may be able to “stir the soul of democracy,” but unless we understand others on a personal level, find how we can relate to one another as humans and Americans, and ultimately empathize with them as if we are in their shoes…America will become a nation of divided intolerance.
I am excited to announce a project I have spent many months planning I call “The Perspective Project.” I want to create a series of videos that allows someone to see into the personal lives of Americans who have different ideologies, beliefs, and backgrounds than their own. It’s not an attempt to convince someone that they are wrong or right, but to show them why this American is who they are. Why they believe in what they believe in. What they feel is their place in America. Why it is ok to disagree but it’s important to understand and respect each other. If one person watching a video develops empathy for that person, and can walk away with at least a more open mind and respect for other groups of Americans, then this project will have done it’s job.
You can follow the project on Facebook and also visit the website for updates.