BEING HUMANare a series of workshops through which young people could discover and express self determining issues like Qualities and core Values that define a HUMAN, Responses of a human in situations of conflict, discrimination, violence and Solutions to the greed and hatred so prevalent in the world today.
The expression could take the forms of different mediums – writing, painting, music, dance, drama, debates so that a buzz is started amongst the young as to who a human Being truly is, and what would be the parameters of success he would base his life on? Does it have to be a competitive “dog-eat-dog” scenario where Might is Right? Is a good bank balance THE answer to a Human’s sense of Well Being? What are the ingredients for a life full of joy and peace?
Most importantly, who am I? Is my operating energy Love or Fear? Do I give myself the Respect that I seek outside? What defines my Self Worth? WHO IS MY SELF?
The intent is to make young people pause, reflect upon their essential Being and construct a new paradigm of success by which they can co-exist peacefully with all fellow humans.
35 enthusiastic young faces greeted me as I walked into New Horizon International School in Maadi, Cairo, to explore aspects of Being Human – through a 3 day workshop from 6th – 8th April, that brought together students from Classes 9 to 12.
Together we set out to explore Self determining issues like Qualities and core Values that define a HuMan, appropriate responses of a Human in situations of conflict and violence, as well as solutions to the greed and hatred so prevalent in the world today.
In an extremely participative free flowing format, the students were encouraged to actively engage with the concepts being discussed. Through interactive discussions, meditations, role playing, creative writing and drawing, they were introduced to the Energy states of every HuMan – ‘Hu’ being a Greek word for light. As beings of light then, we are natural receipients of the unconditional Love Energy of the universe, accessible to us at all times. It is our own Fear and Anxiety that blocks this love and creates dis- ease in our bodies. The students understood the concept of Free Willl and their fundamental right to make choices at every given moment, but also to take complete responsibility for the consequences of these choices.
As these teenagers were made aware of the Power of Love Energy, they were taken through various exercises that demonstrated the emotional energy states each person goes through every day. Bringing us to the core of conflict resolution - do we choose to react in any given situation or can we respond to it? Do we have a Choice? This was a difficult one for the young students as what they see and hear around them, reinforces the popular sentiment that ‘an eye for an eye’ is the only choice worth exerting.
It was heartening therefore to receive feedback from the group when they ended the session on conflict and fear. In the words of 15 year old Aly – “The biggest conflict of all is internal conflict. Internal conflict is the start of all external conflicts. That split second after someone starts a scuffle with you, when you are locked inside your mind with only two choices: to be the bigger person or the smaller person….where your Ego kicks in forcing you to be the smaller person.
Very few can control their Ego. But the ones who can achieve the greatest peace of all.”
For me, such responses are a validation that the students of New Horizon International School have understood the core concepts of the workshop, reaffirming my belief that it is through young people that positive social change will come about. I am deeply grateful to Ms. Aicha Wassef, School Director, for the opportunity to connect with young Egyptian students and inspire them to work towards a more humane, compassionate world. I already feel one step closer towards forming the Global Youth network I constantly dream about!