The way to bring generations together: Empathy

Differences between values hold by youths and that of older generations can be pointed to as a root cause of generational gap. These differences that are fostered by confrontation of ideas regarding  family and social life, creates tensions in the relation of older generation with the youths of today especially among parents and young girls and boys in the family. If not addressed through strengthening mutual understanding, these little problems lead to the retreat of youth to isolation that can later raise the potential for other risks.

Kabul cultural container has recognized dialogue as the way forward. Having an immense experience of facilitating cultural dialogues among different layers of society, the container is investing in individual’s capacity to understand and to talk to each other. Inter-generational dialogue is the over-arching topic of the container’s different activities that are aimed to raise awareness about the differences among generations and bridge gaps by enhancing discussion and mutual understanding.  K1

Shukriya Zargari, who has participated in several cultural discussions, says: “The new generation is in need for developing empathy. If people can feel each other they feel comfortable and accepted, this is the basis for maintaining social interactions.”

The container’s cultural field workers reach out to different people in the community and to the people who are visiting the container and using their wide contact and the confidence they have built, cultural field workers facilitate cultural dialogue with ordinary people in their community and workplace. Uzra Shamal, one of cultural field workers in the Kabul cultural container, believes that “a culture of accepting each other is a serious necessity in modern society. It should be shown practically in everyday life.”

Another visitor of the Kabul container, Ali Parsa, insists that “we should hold cultural dialogues in order to get to know better other people. We can understand each other through talking to each other, through dialogue. The dialogues should be promoted among the people from small dialogues to national dialogues. Then the challenges will be recognized and people will try to find a solution for them.”

The Kabul container has strengthened ideas such as Human Weesa’s to find shared grounds for generations to exchange and to cooperate consciously. “The old generation has good experiences in their lives and the current generation can use those experiences in order to learn for their own social life. By respecting the Elders we can improve the culture of honoring.”

We believe by raising awareness, recognizing cultural values and introducing dialogue as the only way to overcome our differences, we can build a coherent and tolerant society that is clearly reflected in the opinion of the container visitor, Sharif Waleed: “Countries with a tribal structure can face many problems if they don’t refer to a culture of tolerance. Without tolerance and understanding there will be a crisis which threatens the safety of a society. A tolerant culture is the base to unite different groups of people.”K2

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