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Malaysian Airliner Underlines Our Common Humanity

February 24, 2021 at 8:32:59 PM

In his column in the Houston Chronicle, Bill King writes that technology has changed our ability to relate to one another as human beings. Whereas in the past, we could experience and relate to those near us in their pain and suffering or their joy, because of technology we can now experience those same human experiences with people far from us. As he points out, it mattered very little in the first Malaysian jetliner tragedy whether the families were Chinese or Buddhist or Christian. Because we experienced these stories in high definition and real time, we find more and more that we have much in common. As King writes, “Now we can see the pain in the face of a Chinese factory worker who has lost his only child as easily as someone with a similar loss in our hometown. We can see the tears welling in his eyes; hear the trembling in his voice. Suddenly, he seems not much different from us…if you have personally watched someone bury a child, it will be hard to ever hate that person…Wars have largely been possible because of leaders’ abilities to demonize their enemies…” The second horrific tragedy with a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine with 298 innocent souls lost has only underscored this phenomenon. Again, it did not matter if the victims were from the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia or Britain. They were humans just like us. Or more to the point, we are just like them.
The Culture Bump Approach to dealing with differences has for over thirty-five years been training people to acknowledge our differences and then use those same differences to find our common humanity. As technology has advanced, so has the Culture Bump Approach – giving people the skills and knowledge necessary to surmount cultural, ethnic, age, religious and other differences. King, B. (2014, April 6). Technology has brought us closer to new tragedy. The Houston Chronicle, p. B10 (May 31, 2014)

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