The idea was that instead of actual paperbacks, readers could borrow fellow humans to listen and understand their stories, fostering greater awareness around issues surrounding different groups of people. It breaks down stereotypes, and challenges our perspective of how other people actually are.
“I cannot speak for the rest of us, I can only speak for me. But I am only one person, that’s why I’d like you to hear my story and understand who I am, and who we are.” (Aaron, a local 27yo tattoo artist who dreams of travelling the world)
It was great to interact with these human books, and get a sense of who they were and are. At times, it was difficult to silence the inner critic when stories shared went against what I felt should have happened. And in that moment, the dissonance gave rise to a mental model shift. I allowed myself to learn the other side of the story – their story.
What I gleaned from the experience was to listen deeply, and truly hear what the other person has to say.
Its a practice, a ritual towards better connections and relationships with other people. That when we come together to share a common understanding through listening, we are better able to start to create a new world that’s more accepting and more human – a better society.
Awareness Question: when was the last time you allowed yourself to truly listen and hear what was being said?