Clearly there is plenty of evidence around to discourage us about what it is to be human, and about how we relate to each other, to other living beings and to our environment…..
This film is only a few minutes long, and offers a little bit of hope. It comes from www.svetimageda.lt (a Lithuanian resource site re racial/homophobic abuse), and explores how a few random strangers respond to witnessing hate. These look like natural and spontaneous empathic responses to the imagined pain of another person – who is real to them and part of their world, because he is right there in front of them, and they have made a connection with him, however brief/slight. The camera records moments of uncertainty and conflict about how to respond, but the empathic resonance is clear.
Even in our disconnected, numbed, brutalized, objectifying cultures, where hate marches relentlessly across our television screens and monitors and violence features in our ‘entertainment’, an up-close-and-personal experience – in the absence of any personal threat to the witness – seems to evoke a relational response.
Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter