WORKSHOP - 2013
What is the purpose of my existence?
What is my larger Self?
At the heart of all human experience lies a yearning for self-definition and self-understanding. Developing a concept of who we are, for what purpose we exist,
how we should live our lives, is a basic impulse of all human consciousness.
The sheer intensity and velocity of change today challenges our assumptions about the nature and structure of social reality. A set of vital questions confront us.
What is the source of our identity? Where should our attachments and loyalties lie?
Identity brings with it a sense of purpose.
It is from our identity that all intent, action, and social development flow.
Identity determines how we see ourselves and our position in the world, how others see us, and how we choose to engage with those around us.
Which identity or identities are most important?
Can divergent identities be reconciled? And do these identities enhance or limit our understanding of, and engagement with the world?
A one-dimensional understanding of human beings must be rejected.
The prevalent stance that identity is about difference is untenable. Perceiving identity through the lens of separation or cultural preservation ignores compelling evidence of our common humanity and can only aggravate the forces of discord now so pervasive in the world.
The only alternative to this path of fragmentation and disunity is to nurture affective relationships across lines of ethnicity, creed, territory, and color - relationships that can serve as the warp and woof of a new social framework of universal harmony and mutual respect.
“The reality today is that we are all interdependent and have to co-exist on this small planet. Therefore, the only sensible and intelligent way of resolving differences and clashes of interests, whether between individuals or nations, is through dialogue.”
The Dalai Lama
This is the theme of our workshop at the JLF 2013 - My SELF, My WORLD – a platform for young adults between the ages of 13 – 18 years to explore concepts of Self definition and forge connections that transcend barriers of language, class, caste and varying socio-economic backgrounds.
Experimenting, engaging, expressing themselves through a range of creative tools in the morning, interacting with poets, authors, activists in the afternoon, this group of young adults will create spaces that are expansive and inclusive, as they leave the Festival as more humane and compassionate beings.