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URI Europe Proverb, September 2017

 

Ask any traveler about their strongest experience and a story of an encounter invariably follows. When we meet people not only face to face, but 'heart to heart', we experience this as something special.

When travelling, each one of us recognizes the feeling of being out of one's comfort zone.

Far away everything is different. Also the people. When we position ourselves at eye level of the 'foreigner' , we come to know him with an open mind , we enter his world and everything becomes different.

 

 Proverb Sep 2017 page 001

 

Trust that we give, we also receive.

When we accept that someone is different, a certain chemistry is created. We should not only look at the exterior, but we should keep listening. In this way prejudices and predispositions do not get a chance and the 'foreign exterior' will make place for a 'recognizable interior'. We will experience that wealth is to be found in being different, exactly within the differences. In this sense, people we called 'foreigners' at first, are in fact a blessing. The only condition is that we open our heart and allow ourselves to be moved.

 

In this way foreigners become friends

If our society feels strongly about pluralism we should not be satisfied with an ennobled form of permissiveness that preaches tolerance. In our multicultural society pluralism only has a chance of survival if we go towards the other person and if we are really interested in who he or she is, regardless of whether he/she is a foreigner, of another religion or conviction.

 

Intercultural dialogue depends upon authentic pluralism

It is essential to allow the other person's truth, in which a ' heart to heart' encounter is the golden key. In this way a meeting close to home can become a rich experience worth telling. We are only asked to go outside and to let the world in.

 

We dedicate this proverb to the UN International Day of Peace on September 21, which, this year, stands under the Theme: “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”

 

 

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Movement without a Name (MWN / BZN) CC and URI Europe wish to contribute to a better world in a substantial manner. We want to set an example and have therefore introduced the URI Europe proverbs. They are meant to inspire and spark conversation. You can subscribe to the URI Europe monthly proverbs for free. Click here to find out more.

"We need to be the change we wish to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi

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