Saturday, February 18, 2006

Consider the process, not the rule

`Facilitating a next Renaissance´ is also an example of what is sometimes called a process intervention. We´re not going to state what principles we think are important nor are we going say that everything is relative. So, for instance, in our opinion, freedom of speech is not an absolute principle, nor is the opinion of every group regarding freedom of speech fine, for instance, because that is the way that particular culture works. Or, vice versa, respect for the faith or religion of others is not an absolute principle, nor should it be normal that showing no respect should be considered disrespectful. This could imply that somebody else is going to decide when you're being disrespectful - intentend or not - or that you have to conclude that every disrespect is good, as long as it is very passionate.

Every time, a group, a culture has to make up her mind. What worked in the past, may not work now; What works now, will not work in the future. Every intervention is made from a certain frame of mind, and will, after some time, also change that frame of mind. In a recent interview, Jonathan Safran Foer, writer of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, said that the Jewish rules - and in fact any religion's rules - for food, should not be considered absolute nor should they be ignored. The deeper meaning of these rules is to make us conscious of the principle that we should never take food for granted. Every time we eat, the rules should make us consider that it is important to think about what we're eating and how we're eating. This is more important than any rule about the food.

So in this conference, it is more important to work together, to converse together and to make your own mind and find your own ways and means, than any specific result. As long as you don't eat the menu.


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