A beginning…

The start of this idea happened the week Maya Angelou died, the same week that many many people voted for UKIP and To Kill a Mockingbird was taken off the new GCSE literature study list. A friend of mine posted a status on face book about  a York Mosque that responded to the 2013 EDL protests by inviting them to tea. In this tea drinking and football playing encounter they seemed to get past their judgement and assumptions of one another. It was amicable. I’m not saying this transformed the world into a peaceful non confrontational place but it does show that peace, even in  a small way, is possible. It separated difference and hate of ideas from the people. My friend called this ‘Tea and Tolerance’, and that seems like a good place to begin.

Begin what?

First. Questions. What is tolerance? Who and what do we tolerate? What can’t you tolerate? Is tolerance of each other enough? Is there more to gain, share and  and explore beyond tolerance? Where is ‘beyond tolerance’? And where to start? Is it something to do with going beyond what we know, who we know and where we are comfortable? What do you think?

Can the arts help? Create a safe and open space for people to exchange, to re-visit their thoughts and how they feel. With fun, with ritual, with intent listening, with peace. A place to resolve conflict and choose freely what is important and what really isn’t important at all.

To think about what would make the most difference to you? What would you ask? ….change? …..do?