Q&A: If I could introduce a law that applies to everyone in the world what would it be?

Q&A: If I could introduce a law that applies to everyone in the world what would it be?

Every month, I publish an answer to a reader’s question. Here’s a transcript of my answer to a question I recently received from one of my readers; if I could introduce a law that applies to everyone in the world, what would it be?

I think one of the major challenges of our time is to make people conscious of what is happening outside their own small circle. Specifically when it comes to climate change, as it has long been a concept that for many people appealed to their imagination.

Therefore, I thought it could be pretty cool to have a law that dictates that everyone must exchange lives with another person for a moment. Preferably with someone who is living a completely different existence at the moment. Even if it’s just for a week, on an annual basis.

I wish to foster a world where people celebrate each other’s differences and show more empathy towards those living different lives. Even though it probably has always been challenging to connect people to the needs of the poorest in countries that are far away and tap into their empathy, it’s not impossible.

Actually, I do believe that many people are willing to take an extra step to be of service to another person. There is a generation of young people growing up right now that seems to be fully aware of the challenges of our time, and they are vocal about it too.

Amidst challenging times, there is a responsibility for journalists, organisations and governments to not overwhelm the majority of the people with negative news reporting, but to keep them hooked and part of the conversation — to also tap into the willingness to learn more and do more. As citizens we rely on their information.

That is where storytelling specifically comes into play and can make a difference. Using the film medium and telling stories in that way, can help with tapping into that empathy and showing us the way of how to become part of something. It can open up the space to the point that it’s actually encouraging to become part of a change you’d like to see in the world.

Even though I can emphasize the idea that the mind seems to secrete a sort of self-protecting ignorance towards suffering elsewhere, we don’t have to walk away from it either.

So the law would promote this sense of empathy between people. More often than not, the people that look different from us and live different lives, do have universal and similar needs and emotions even when it doesn’t look like it.


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Thank you for reading. This reader’s question is part of the Ask Me Anything series. Feedback from you, the reader, is important to me. Want to ask me a question for next month? Send me your question via team@lisanneswart.com

» Explore more answers to thought-provoking questions from readers


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