by Selina, K4P NH/VT Media Coordinator
The Jerusalem kids have already begun their long trip to Vermont. After spending the morning discussing details and learning Kids4Peace songs, the afternoon was happily spent getting ready for the official arrival of the campers.
Jeff, our camp director, reminded us to enjoy the work, not pushing through it in order to start life after our work is finished, but rather to recognize work as life, and savor the experiences of working as much as the resting.
In the evening, over ice cream and peach cobbler, we discussed this value as well as what it means to really, truly put yourself in another’s shoes, and have empathy for another person. Coupled with this was how to find time, in our own lives, to slow down, think, and make careful choices about what we do and how we interact with the people around us. One quote, from Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, rang true for many of us: “Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him.”
Omar, one of the camp counselors talked about these principles in terms of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. He said that: “Back home, people don’t necessarily think in terms of empathy. Years and generations have passed but it is very rare to, as a Palestinian to put yourself in the shoes of an Israeli, or as an Israeli, put yourself in the shoes of a Palestinian and really understand that world and that perspective.”