They don’t want to participate

Author: Workshop V
Location: EastWest Institute – Prague
Ivana SimikovaCounsellorDrom CenterBrno
These people who live in the house where Drom is located: they expect a lot of help from us. And they expect it because they are not able to become active themselves. They are passively waiting for support and they want a finished product in their hands. They want you to give them a finished solution. They do not want to participate. And if you do not give them a finished solution they think you’ve done nothing. If you give them a lead, that’s not support. They want a hundred per cent support. Our presentations may be of interest to them. They may find it interesting thatwhite people are trying to communicate with them, but they will not view it as support. They will not view it as something beneficial to them.
We can tell them that they can establish a civic association – or that they can participate in an existing civic association – to try to solve the community’s problems, and they can listen to these stories to gain experience. But they will not reallypay attention: they will wait for us to solve their problems for them. They want a turnkey solution. They do not want to participate.
John W. ErwinProject DirectorThe Stories Exchange Project
Right: that’s the problem and the question is whether we can learn to address that problem in this projector ignore it – and if we ignore it I think we will have failed.
The relationships you have in the two cities – and the relationship that is growing between Brno and Usti in this project. That’s actually power: I’m not sure that even we understand how influential that could be.
A lot of us have children and have the experience of children doing that for a long time. The point is helping people grow up – and that’s the responsibilitywe have in this project
I think WE’re all growing in this project, in many different ways – and if we’re not, that’s another reason for us to stop doing this. Parents too, ifthey’re not learning something from dealing with their kids, they can’t be good parents: they can’t do a goodjob. It’s a two-way street.
We can understand that, but these people in Maticni Street in Usti and Bratislavska Street in Brno most certainly cannot understand that – but it’s our job to help them.
Not by telling them. That wouldn’t do any good. We have to DO it.
At Drom you have problems with material, physical construction, right? Why not get the people who are, as you say, on the take to participate by helpingbuild or rebuild something? by doing something physical to change their environment. If these people are part of fixing up their environment, they’re going to have different attitude towards you and towards themselves.

Leave a Reply