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The Other Side

Posted on Jul 20, 2015

 

man-looking-in-mirror“On the other side, I see no enemy lines
On the other side, just one breed of human kind
On the other side those who serve love, rule and shine
No wars no harms, no guns no crimes
On the other side”

In this song, I revive the debate on militarism, terrorism and religion. With a play on words, I describe the outcomes of crossing over to the other side. Whether understood as the afterlife or a psychological crossing over to the other side’s perspective, the lyrics of this song outline the transformational impact of “perspective taking”. Like a mirror, the process of crossing over to another person’s point of reference, causes one to see a reflection of one’s own humanity on either side. Positions might be different on a subject matter, but the passions and  commitments are similar.

As the song points out, there are hurdles in the way of people crossing over and stepping into other people’s perspectives. As examples, I focus on the constructs of patriotism or religious martyrdom that serve as a basis for categorizing human beings into in-groups and out-groups; “us versus them”. To get to the other side, one must jump over these constructs by asking difficult questions.

Jumping over the hurdles through inquiry

“Perspective -taking” is a mental exercise that requires a commitment to the humanity in each and everyone. Such commitment forces one to ask difficult questions when facing challenging times like uncertainty and hurt. It forces one to ask the questions that would upkeep the humanity of all parties involved. And it requires of one to be driven by principle rather then circumstances. Here are some questions that can help with the jumps:

  • Do I believe that all humans are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?hurdle
  • What conditions and/or circumstances could lead me to dehumanize a fellow human being?
  • Is it ever justifiable to dehumanize a fellow human being?
  • What happens to my humanity when I dehumanize another fellow human?

You can stream the song “On the other side” here.