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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Safe Spaces and safe conversations

Safe Conversations
Panel discussion on safe spaces at Brookings Institution. 

That was a part of the conversations we had about countering violent extremism organized by Muslim Public Affairs Council.  When our youth cannot find answers to their questions from the ‘right sources’ they turn to any source to gobble up the answers, and bad guys are always waiting to pounce on them, they know how to lure them.

Safe conversations in a nutshell are providing safe space to everyone to have a conversation, particularly youth who are vulnerable. Most of the time, merely expressing a thought and someone listening to them brings a relief.

Take a toddler for example, he or she screams for things, parents can train him to “ask and wait” or not respond and let the toddler scream greater, and if no one pays attention, he throws fits, and then throws things and becomes destructive.

Every human wants to express something, if no one wants to see or hear him or her, or if the expression gets suppressed, it can take many forms. We have to consciously watch the vulnerable, whoever can get to them first, can shape what they become. 

Don’t wait for others, if we do our share, things will start improving. 
The best thing you can do for others is listen.
My safety hinges on safety of the people around me, that is, if others are not safe, I won’t be safe. Each one of us has to take the responsibility to encourage goodness in others. 

Mike Ghouse
Text or Talk at (214) 325-1916

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, and a speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslampolitics, terrorism, human rights, India, Israel-Palestine and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Visit him in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net for his writings at TheGhousediary.com and several blogs listed there in.

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