As a newbie at a customer service position I had a long time ago, I got a call from a distributor who was quite rude to me. My boss told me not to worry, that I would soon be meeting the rude caller and the rest of the distributors in my region, and everything would change. “People can’t be mean to you once they meet you in person.” And I found that to be true.
My dear colleague Bev sent me this thought-provoking proverb today: “To him who judges my walk, I will lend my shoes.” It got me thinking about how many of the world’s troubles stem from the lack of knowledge we have about others. We can easily convince ourselves that people in another part of town or across the world are bad or lazy or just not getting ahead because they are not doing what WE would be doing in their shoes. Well, what if we actually wore their shoes and walked through their daily life with those shoes on?
A video called The Breakfast Recipe allows us to imagine wearing the shoes of Maria, a woman in Central America, as she prepares breakfast for her daughter. It was produced by Sean Hawkey, a talented photographer/videographer to Church World Service, one of FRB’s member organizations. Disclaimer: No pop-tarts were toasted during the making of this breakfast. Please click on the picture to watch the video.
As Hawkey described the process, For Maria to prepare breakfast she must collect firewood and chop it, raise water from a well and carry it home, plant and care for maize and beans, harvest them, clean them, look after hens, and then the cooking can begin.
The video is lighthearted – and the music will make you want to get up and dance! – yet the message is profound. 75% of the world’s poor live in rural areas. Would any of us even begin to know how to live, let alone prosper, in their climates and with the limited resources available to them? Social justice begins once we consider the profound difficulties and challenges people face around the world, and how we can take part in improving them.
Hawkey’s video makes it possible for us to envision the life of one program participant and then begin to imagine the lives of others all around the world. FRB makes it possible for us to support them effectively as they work hard to make better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Blog by:Laurie Kaniarz, Administrative Coordinator, Kalamazoo, MI