Sunday, 27 February 2011

Sandwich diplomacy

This post is dedicated to a woman I find immensely attractive and appealing. Queen Rania of Jordan is one of those ladies one cannot help but be drawn to.  She oozes beauty, power and intelligence - all the ingredients for my kind of woman!

We live in times when pre-conceived notions are rampant.  We are quick to judge one another, we long (in spite of our internal attempts to be "broad-minded") to stereotype one another.  It's as though we need to pigeon-hole one another, to attach a particular label to one another. And often, our notions about the other person are, in fact, erroneous and grossly inaccurate.

The problem is a breakdown in communication.  When inter-faith/inter-cultural dialogue is at an all-time and perilous low, there is no better time to taste the other side's sandwich before forming opinions.  Allow me to explain.  In 2010, Queen Rania released a children's book entitled "The Sandwich Swap".  The book tells a tale about two young schoolgirls - Salma, who likes her hummus sandwich for lunch, and Lillie, who loves her peanut butter sandwich.  Before even tasting each other's sandwich, Salma and Lillie think each other's sandwiches are "yucky". Yet, when they eventually take a bite of the contents of each other's lunch box, they realise that the sandwiches are not what they had thought to originally be.  The moral of the story is that where we are all too quick to judge the other side, we need to exercise caution and indulge in tasting the other side, before drawing our conclusions.

Difficult to achieve - I am all too guilty of stereotyping.  However, sometimes all it takes is a children's tale to convey a key message to us "responsible grown-ups".

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