- Jul 2021
Jacobs suggests taking the idea of "walking a mile in another's shoes" to a higher level. He takes Herman Hesse's idea in The Glass Bead Game of the Castalian community's writing a Life in which people write an autobiography about seeing themselves placed in other times/places in history.
Similar examples he includes:
- Flannery O'Connor's story "Revelation" in which a woman chooses being remade as "white trash" or a Black woman.
- Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin (1961)
- White Like Me, a Saturday Night Live skit featuring Eddie Murphy
- Soul Sister by Grace Halsell
- Rachel Dolezal passing as black because she felt it was her identity
- John Rawls' "veil of ignorance"
Jacob suggests this could be a useful exercise for people to attempt, particularly as a senior exercise for university students.
- Oct 2015
Freedman also points out how Siddhartha described Hesse's interior dialectic: "All of the contrasting poles of his life were sharply etched: the restless departures and the search for stillness at home; the diversity of experience and the harmony of a unifying spirit; the security of religious dogma and the anxiety of freedom."
This reminds me of a quote, which I can't currently attribute, that basically says you can have everything in life, but not everything at once. Somewhat obvious, but I think if a person isn't mindful of this idea and is afraid to get out of his comfortable zone, or is held to a set of rigid beliefs, a diverse range of experiences are highly unlikely.