rene van hulst


This article was written on 13 Nov 2016, and is filled under Ideology, Thoughts.

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radical empathy

We all struggle to get to grips with the radical changes after the Trump election. Here is an excellent article from Naomi Klein on the backgrounds of the choices leading to this.
One quote particularly struck me:
People have a right to be angry, and a powerful, intersectional left agenda can direct that anger where it belongs, while fighting for holistic solutions that will bring a frayed society together.Such a coalition is possible. In Canada, we have begun to cobble it together under the banner of a people’s agenda called The Leap Manifesto, endorsed by more than 220 organisations from Greenpeace Canada to Black Lives Matter Toronto, and some of our largest trade unions.

At the same time, here in Holland we are debating our children’s tradition of “Zwarte Piet” and has the left wing politician Jesse Klaver released his vision of our new society with empathy as the way to bridge the divide and going back to the founding of the Netherlands in 1586 as the core of our countries identity.

Now to throw in my piece of the puzzle… Yes we do need more empathy as society. But not as a goal but as a means to an end; a coherent, safe and mutual understanding between people. Society is nothing more or less than people living together for the mutual benefit of all. And there is where we need to go back to. The individual, the one how can make a difference every moment of every day.

Starting from the 22nd of November onwards, I will together with Margaret Lansink, do an Artist in Residence in Kaunas, Lithuania. Based on the story of Mr. Philips Radio, the dutch consul who helped thousands of Jews escape the danger of Nazi Germany, we will work together with schoolchildren to understand what it was that made this man face grave personal danger to help his fellow humans.
A situation not very far away from today. And if ever we will have the courage to change, it wil start with the individual able to muster empathy for his fellow human being. Irrespective of all qualifications that are attached like faith, background, country of origin etc. etc. If you want to follow our road, please check in at our website from the 22nd onwards or follow us on Instagram.

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