As part of a new installment for Citizen Jane, I am starting a new project called Make Me Understand. This project is based on the principles that as humans, we are inherently biased creatures, simply due to or own experiences (or lack thereof). Furthermore, I believe that if I truly want to advocate for change or promote my own viewpoints, I need to understand the perspective of those who disagree with me, even on topics where I simply cannot understand how they have formulated their opinion.
Thus, the birth of Make Me Understand.
For this project, every few weeks I will tackle one of my own general preconceived notions on a specific topic. I will then set out to find individuals with different perspectives on the topic and try to delve into their interpretation. I am fully aware that I come from a specific background that has guided my interpretation of matters. Additionally, I am 26 years old and just by a nature of time and space have not gathered enough data to consider myself FULLY informed on any topic, really. I want to use this project to gather more information from other viewpoints. I might not end up changing my mind, but at least I (as well as hopefully others) can look at the world through other lenses and interpretations that I hadn't thought of before.
To enhance this project, I will be using a variety of media options, including video, photos, as well as written and oral interviews. I will also open a comment section and a letter the editor section so others can add their views, although I am putting the onus on others to observe the principle of Citizen Jane and maintain civility and avoid overly emotional rhetoric. No name-calling, etc. I am also open to advice on how to improve this initiative.
In light of the most recent tragic events, which come on the heels of others, the first topic I will be covering over the next few weeks is gun reform. The first interview, as well as photos from my excursion to a gun range are up under the Make Me Understand tab.