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| Thursday, November 2, 2017

If we imagined that others had the capacity to empathize with us, would we set higher expectations for ourselves to speak up and reach out? Could we elevate the conversation? Perhaps one thing we can all agree on is that 2017 has not been the year for civility. The more we argue, the more things fall apart, the more pressing it becomes to prioritize listening over preaching. What would happen if we spoke and listened in a way that reflected our interconnectedness, where one voice could snowball into an avalanche that envelops us all?

We want you to dive into your saddest, happiest, darkest, most exuberant moments and emerge with something that will try us, that will challenge us to understand what it’s like to walk in your shoes. What would you write if your audience had no idea what it’s like to be gay, black, Asian, cripplingly self-conscious, depressed, madly in love, anxious, poor, white, religious … but desperately wanted to know?

Our world becomes fuller, more just and more peaceful when we speak with intentional courage and faith in our listeners. Make our moral imaginations take flight.

What if we had no idea what is was like to be an outsider? To be shunned? To be labeled? To be an immigrant? To be undocumented? To be called a bigot or a snowflake because of who we voted for? To feel unloved? To experience an orgasm? To have a “perfect” life on paper but be deeply unhappy? To be unwelcome where we live? To be miserable in our own skin? To experience great loss? What if our collective survival depended on helping each other to understand?

Think we wouldn’t get it? Try us.

Submit your story by Nov. 8 at ndshowsomeskin.com.

Natasha Reifenberg

Executive Producer for Show Some Skin

Eric Ways
Creative Director for Show Some Skin

 

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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