TThe day was hot. As I struggled to focus, I started thinking about Bandura’s social cognitive theory about the environment’s influence on our thoughts and actions. Taking a sip of cold water that didn’t seem cold enough despite an iceberg of ice cubes that could sink the Titanic...
…I wondered to what degree that is true. My Spanish teacher said that work in Barcelona was tremendously influenced by heat in the summer months. That 3 pm siesta disrupted business as people took long naps or drove home to rest, creating a very unique work culture.
Maybe Bandura is right, I thought, as I escaped my hot apartment and wrote these words on the phone while sitting under a huge oak, enjoying the cool breeze.
Maybe the environment does influence what we do and how we do it more than we realize.
At last, after my head and body cooled, I felt I could at least touch upon what I really wanted to talk with you, which was – the importance of tolerance and kindness for which the world seemed to ask stronger than ever before. Feeling uneasy about the events in the United States that led to violent protests against racism and continuing Bandura’s idea about the environment, I couldn’t help but marvel – how in the world that is connected like never before we still experience discord and disconnection based on ethnicity?
Technology, coupled with fast travel, the business that was never easier to conduct globally, create an environment in which most of us are exposed to people of various backgrounds and cultures daily. They become work colleagues, friends, and neighbors helping to experience our world in its totality, diversity, and connectivity that characterizes our times. We seem to enjoy the variance different cultures bring in the forms of cuisine, music, science, art, and fashion.
Why then we tend to forget ever too often to embrace the same variance in something more profound than unanimated achievements – human life?
Kindness and tolerance should not be served according to a scale where the weight of superficial criteria determines the amount.
The Black Lives Matter movement voicing the need for social and political changes as much as it is positive, on the one hand, makes me wonder about the world we live in on the other. The world where despite tremendous advances in any field imaginable, we still dare to be medieval and bring the concept of one life meaning more or less than the other life into the 21 century.
All lives are equal. All lives are equally unique and precious.
The innovation continues to shrink almost every possible barrier that previously held us apart and separated, bringing us closer together via various enterprises. Therefore I wish that we create an environment where we are comfortable with each other. The environment where we forgo cruel cultural and historical premises, forgo limitations of something so menial as color, forgo bizarre compartmentalization when at heart we are all the same, united by same wishes for safety, acceptance, and kindness.
To encourage all of us to see beyond what meets the eye and beyond our differences together with Norwegian artists, we prepared a project called “The Soul Has No Color.”
Shot in a Frogner Parken featuring sculptures by Vigeland that depict all stages of human life and its emotions, we added a layer portraying the shadows of various park visitors symbolizing the colorless sameness of being human.
Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.