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  • Good morning, everybody.

  • I'm here today to talk to you about tolerance and the importance of going beyond just tolerance.

  • But first I wanna talk to you about two examples.

  • In the first example, my husband and I decided to host a dinner party at this dinner party.

  • We were going to have a set menu.

  • We were gonna have 10 of our friends all sitting at our dining table, and it was going to end at 10 p.m. In the second example, we were going to have another dinner party.

  • But at this dinner party, we were going to do something a little bit different When building the set menu, we decided to call up our friends and ask them to tell us what they wanted on the set menu.

  • And when inviting our friends, we told them to please invite whoever they wanted.

  • The more the merrier.

  • And instead of doing it at our dining table, we decided to build a new dining table with our friends and try to see how many people we could seat.

  • When you think of these two examples, there's something fundamentally different with them.

  • The first example is an example of tolerance and the second example is an example of something beyond just tolerance.

  • The reason this topic it's so important to me is because of the different aspects of my identity.

  • Like you, I am a woman and like you, I am a Muslim and like a lot of you, I am a person of color and sometimes in society, because of those aspects of my identity, I've been extremely uplifted.

  • But other times I've been extremely pushed down and depressed because of them.

  • There is a way forward to stop the suppression, but before I go into that, I want to talk to you all first, about tolerance.

  • When a country says it is moving towards becoming more tolerant, this is amazing.

  • When my country, the United Arab Emirates, said that it was going to make 2019 the year of tolerance, I was proud because in a country or a person moves towards becoming more tolerant, it means they acknowledge and respect that they're different identities in our society and we need to make space to make sure they feel welcome.

  • But would that said tolerance alone?

  • It's not enough because when you are trying to be tolerant.

  • We put ourselves at the center of our consideration.

  • I decide what I think is important and needs to be represented in our society.

  • There's no exchange when we only look at things from one perspective like this.

  • We miss important issues like power, like discrimination and like different people's voices and perspectives.

  • The late author David Foster Wallace and his speech This Is Water gives us an example of how we have a tendency to put ourselves in the middle of our experiences and how he had tried to go beyond just being tolerant, to try to see someone else's perspective.

  • He tells us about a time where he was in a grocery store.

  • He's tired, it's after work, but he needs to buy groceries.

  • He waits in this line.

  • The line is long, and at the end of that line there's a cashier and she is being so slow.

  • He sees the anger building up in everyone waiting in that line, and he feels it himself.

  • This anger in this frustration why is she so slow?

  • But then he stops himself and he takes himself out off the center of that experience, and he goes to the woman, and he really looks at her.

  • He notices that she's she's really tired.

  • Why is she so tired?

  • He sees that easy shoes bags under her eyes.

  • He sees that her hair's all messy and a NCO mde, and he wonders, Why is she's so tired?

  • Could be that she's so tired because she works three jobs.

  • Or Or could it be that she's so tired?

  • Because she's the Onley one working in this country and the rest of her family is back home?

  • So she spent all of last night talking to them on the phone?

  • Or or could it be that she's so tired because she spent all of last night holding the hand off her dying partner?

  • When we as a society, don't try to take ourselves out of the center of our experiences and go beyond, we miss not understanding and seeing that different perspective like that of that cashier.

  • So we as a society need to go beyond just being tolerant.

  • The way we can go beyond is to consider and dig really deep into ideas of diversity and to embrace this idea of diversity because diversity means to create structures of representation in our society for different identities, and we need to also embrace multiculturalism.

  • And by that I mean we need to make sure our societies, our estates of being, that allow people with different identities to feel welcome.

  • The whole purpose of trying to go beyond just being tolerant is to create a sense of belonging.

  • The beauty of belonging is when you can create that sense, you create ownership.

  • If you remember the second dinner party I mentioned to you during that dinner party, we had encouraged our guest to have an exchange with us to tell us what they felt was important to be represented at that dinner party.

  • And because we did that, they wanted to contribute.

  • Everyone there did everything they could to make that the best dinner party they'd been, too.

  • I remember a time where I was so excited to be in a space, but because there wasn't that exchange and either wasn't that welcoming, I didn't feel like I belongs that happened here in my home town, Dubai.

  • After almost a decade of legal training and studying and working in the UK, I'd finally come back and was gonna practice.

  • Is a lawyer in my country.

  • But the night before my first day at work, I spent hours looking through my cupboard, trying to figure out what's aware and specifically trying to decide if I should or should not where, my abaya.

  • Because I had heard that people had a negative perception and stereotypes about Ahmad Azis.

  • I heard that people thought we were unfriendly and unapproachable, and I'd also heard that people thought we were were not hard working.

  • We were lazy and I didn't want that on me.

  • I'd worked so hard.

  • So for three years I didn't wear my cultural attire toe work.

  • So what could we as a society do to make sure that people with my identities and with all of yours and others feel welcome and like they belong?

  • How how do we do it?

  • The first thing that we can do self reflection?

  • Dr.

  • Robert Reason, a professor of education at Iowa State University, explains that when someone takes the time to truly get to know themself, not only do they understand the different aspects of their identity and how those different aspects interplay with one another and interacts, they're also more motivated to understand this in other people, and this understanding of different perspectives can help create a more welcoming society.

  • The second thing that we can do is have empathy.

  • Dr.

  • Arlie Hochschild, a sociologist from the University of California, Berkeley, came up with a term called the Empathy Wall.

  • And the empathy wall is defined as an obstacle to a deep understanding of another person, which could make you indifferent or can even make you hot style all because that person holds beliefs that are different to you or has a childhood rooted in different circumstances.

  • So we as a society need to learn to scale that empathy wall and to look over it, to see what that different person's perspective is, why they think you want to act the way they do.

  • The final and third point I'm gonna talk to you about is action.

  • We need to take action.

  • My husband, to give you all an example, is a professor at Universe at University, and at the first day of each semester he will walk into his class, and he will tell his students, regardless of whether you drop this class or how you perform, I want each and every one of you to know that I deeply care for and love all of you and I will be here in my classroom and in my office every day.

  • Four.

  • You.

  • I love that story.

  • And I love hearing that the reason being because at that point on the first day, he doesn't know anything about those students.

  • But he is created space in his office and in his classroom of unconditional acceptance and welcoming to give you all another example.

  • The fact that you are all here today is a beautiful example of all of you scaling that empathy wall Thio here my perspective and to hear the perspective of all of the other speakers that have spoken today and that will be speaking.

  • So thank you for doing that.

  • I want to conclude my talk today by paraphrasing what the American comedian Harry Condo Baloo says about tolerance.

  • He says it's 2020.

  • Why are we still talking about tolerance?

  • You know what?

  • I tolerate back pain.

  • I told her right knee pain Tolerate any of you.

  • We should be talking about love and acceptance for me.

  • I don't tolerate any of you either, because I accept And I love each and every one of you.

  • Thank you.

Good morning, everybody.

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超越寬容|薩拉-阿拉瓦迪|TEDxOudMetha (Beyond Tolerance | Sara Alawadhi | TEDxOudMetha)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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