I would like to explore some aspects of a SALT visit (and SALT behaviours) that intrigue me and that puzzle me. To some extent this is a personal exploration, but I would be very intrigued to hear the thoughts of others.
I want to explore the power that comes from letting go of hierarchical relationships during a SALT visit. When a group of visitors merges with a group of visited so that the distinctions between them (us) fade away, the opportunities to learn from each other and to share with each other open up to a remarkable degree.
We use some grand sounding phrases for the disappearance of hierarchy. For example, we share our common humanity. But I think that we are really saying is that we suddenly understand that we are all the same, that we are all human. We cease to emphasise what separates us and we concentrate on on what links us. For some of us that means the recognition that we are not special or different or chosen. For others, it means the recognition that we have value, that we have talents and that we can take action.
But the magic is that both 'sides' gain. This is not one group doing something for another group. The opportunities and possibilities open up for both groups. It seems like a large reward for such a small step.
Here is one idea that stays with me about this remarkable event. When we experience such a process, from either perspective, we realise that all of us are capable of excluding others. And we realise that the act of exclusion hurts the excluder as well as the excluded. An act of exclusion is an opportunity lost, as well as many other things.
And for me, these gains are puzzling. I have been brought up in a world that emphasises the value of the individual. We see the Renaissance as a process that brought the individual into focus and that has led to the world in which we live today. It seems clear that there are times when an emphasis on distinctions opens up one stream of opportunities. But it is also clear that there are other times when the recognition that we are all human produces another stream of benefits. I don't know that I understand what separates these 2 streams of benefits. When does one way of looking at the world provide benefits and when does it harm us? That is a wisdom that I lack.