I have to understand the other person

Rokycany, Czech RepublicFebruary 24, 1996
Ondrej GinaDirector for the Czech Republic, Romani National Congress;formerly, member of the Czechoslovak Federal Parliament
When we were working at the Roxy [an experimental theater space in Prague where the script developed by the Stories Exchange Project was performed in October, 1995], it was a really tiring job that demanded a lot of concentration and energy. It was a locked-in space and we were concentrating on the work. It was team work: each of us brought to that space his own life-experiences, but also what he went through that day. During the day everyone experiences something, whether good or bad. So when I joined the team I was influenced by what happened to me – at home, for instance. It was the same with all of us. So in practical reality we were coming to understand what is involved in communication, in cooperation: what influences communication.
And when we – when Hana [Syslova]and I – had arguments, that was a problem of communication. We had a problem, and we had to talk it through. That’s tiring; it’s very demanding. When people have some other problem, they can’t understand each other in a discussion and there is conflict.
Of course the whole Project was about that: how to solve conflicts among people, how to look for ways of understanding, how to find a way to communicate without insulting the other person.
We were learning. And the fact that we argued – well, it was a life-experience.
So I know when it happens again, I should be more tolerant, I should have more understanding. And that’s what it’s about. I have to understand the other person in order to make it work.
Evaluation Interview