Can You Make a Change?
In September we restart the OveHum’s activities, and usually we do it with references to the subject of education. In the past 15 months, the OveHum registered visits from 97 different countries, and despite the implicit cultural differences in this diversity, we identify this month as the month in which the school year begins. Therefore we usually start by recommending the first lectures and courses for educators, educational readings for students, or tips for parents to go back “to normal” after the summer vacations.
That is, we take for granted that it is “normal” for all children in the world go to school … but it is not … Therefore, we want to dedicate this post to reflect on two issues.
The first has to do with the purpose of the Observatory, as our slogan looks for a change. A change in the way we treat our children and youth, a change in the way they treat each other, in the attitudes that we have as adults and the cultures that we must develop towards a “Global Humanized Citizenship”. But how to achieve that change?. One of the songs that we used to work with in High Schools to address Human Rights and Values is precisely about this, about who needs to start changing, about how we can start making changes. And oddly enough, the answer has to do with the image that is reflected in the mirror, this is, with oneself. I’m referring to the theme “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson in which he sends a very clear message: If you want a better world, take a look at yourself and make a change.
The second one is related to our perception of what is normal and what is not, and on the perception of “the other”. On the one hand, we sometimes forget that things that are part of a routine for some, for others would be a prize, a privilege, or even something unattainable. When we forget, when we normalize something as important as being able to go to school, to eat every day, to sleep under a roof, to see a doctor if we get sick … or the value of being able to share and to have a family… we run the risk of underestimating our situation, which is already privileged.
On the other hand, what we perceive as “normal” and “different” from us is based on a number of variables that we have encoded in our brains, based on the experiences we live, but also on the expectations we are developing throughout life. This is the way we are shaping our attitudes towards “the other”, without stopping to think too much about how these attitudes also affect the development of our own humanity.
Despite the above, in some societies, we are so dominated by technology, so abducted by the image, we do not think about how our perception is altered, or how it affects our essence. So we are gradually “losing the human touch” forgetting little by little the basic Human Values, such as empathy, compassion, care and respect, all pillars of the human ethics that upholds the principles of the Observatory, inspired by the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, that we understand, must also maintain its presence in all societies.
Recently from UNICEF Committee of Georgia, they made this social experiment to raise awareness and think about the situation of rejection and discrimination many children are suffering from. So we start the school year without giving advice, or patterns of behavior, we’ll just throw a question … Can You Make a Change?
Author: Dr. Gonzalo Torquemada