Sometimes you see that sentence on social media: ‘Sharing is caring’. Which basically asks of you to prove that you care about someone and to spread their message. I’ve always found this sentence a little problematic. If I don’t share, does it mean I don’t care? I would like to turn it around. Caring is sharing. If you care about something, you are ready to listen and to share. The girls in the picture are inspirational to me. Because they did exactly that last night. Care to hear stories, to learn.
Last night my friend and I welcomed two Syrians into the house. The biannual Meet & Eat event organised by the local working group that supports refugees from the asylum seeker centre works really simple. Inhabitants from the town are matched with inhabitants from the centre to share a meal together. Right now I refuse to use the word ‘refugee’. Because that is a label is connected with vulnerability and legal procedures. The men that shared a meal with us are just people, like you and me.
Caring starts with listening.
It doesn’t start with endless political discussions about terminology. It doesn’t start in my class room discussing about complex systems or giving speeches about active citizenship. It starts with an open mind and being willing to let others touch you. Of course it is a lot easier to not be touched. To keep the other out. To stay with the comfortable, because then you don’t have to question your own perceptions and opinions of the world.
But if you do decide to take up to challenge and to start listening and caring, I believe that it is only logical that sharing will follow. Because if you truly learn to listen, you will have a story to share. You will have a message to the world around you.