by Charter for Compassion Australia
"I'm an open book." While this idiom can mean that the speaker has nothing to hide, it can also mean that they are easily understood, and "readable." Charter for Compassion Australia and the Australian Compassion Council invite people to come together on September 21 Australia's National Day of Compassion and United Nations International Day of Peace for the Human Library Project–a proposed project intended to increase understanding and peace across diverse populations.
The concept for this project has its roots in Indigenous Australian ways of being through "Deep Dreaming," and especially with Deep Dreaming's focus on deep listening. According to the project proposal, the Human Library "provides a 'deep listening' method that offers participants the opportunity to meet others they wouldn't normally meet and to have conversations about topics that people often don't get the chance to talk about." These opportunities will be held at libraries throughout Australia, providing safe spaces for participants to "read" other people, especially those who are different from them, as "Human books."
The goals of the Human Library project include increased understanding of human diversity and respect for differences, more compassion for others, and stronger awareness of our interdependence. With the dovetailing of dates for both the Australian National Day of Compassion and the International Day of Peace, the focus will be on creating peace within individuals and toward others.
What might a Human Library project look like in your community?
To see more of what Charter for Compassion Australia is doing, please visit their Charter website. Within that site, you might also be interested in more information on the Australian Compassion Council, a subset of the Charter for Compassion Australia. To learn more about the Australian National Day of Compassion and the United Nations International Day of Peace, please visit the links in this sentence!