Most of the time we hang out with people generally like us. If you are a Social Worker you’ll know alot of Social Workers; if you work for Goldman Sachs you’ll know many people not too different to you. Maybe what the world needs is for us to spend time with people not like us. Maybe the captain of the local rugby club should go to the over-65s crochet club; maybe the village champion pumpkin grower should head to the club for disadvantaged teenagers in the nasty down the road (maybe they do already…oh, that’s my judgment….).
It’s a little like the judgments we make about people. I am not going to talk to that person, because I can’t stand him. He looks like this, he smells like that, he dresses like this. Of course I’ll keep away. Maybe they are very people we need to speak with. What will we learn? What will they learn?
A Christian friend of mine said some of the most interesting conversations he has are with people from other faiths, even though he thinks they are wrong.
Since my world had changed out of all recognition in six months, I keep meeting people not like me. It has been without exception fantastic. Thank God, that I have this opportunity. There are easier ways to get this opportunity than mine.
On the course I attended in Sweden last week, we were asked to share the one thing we do not want other people to know. That is one hell of a powerful thing to do, and the outcomes were in every case better than if the story had not been shared.
I guess it is about getting out of the space you normally operate in, and trying something very different. In my experience, it is well worth it.