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This chapter's exercise is about doing some personal reflection. There are no right or wrong answers here, instead this is an opportunity for you to take some time and think about your ethical values and beliefs.

A letter to the past (10 mins.) 

This exercise asks you to explore what it would take to change your mind about something important.

Imagine someone from the past who held views characteristic of that time. Also imagine, for the sake of the exercise, that this person is not too different from you - perhaps you would have been friends. Unfortunately, many people in the past were complicit in horrible things, such as slavery, sexism, racism, and homophobia, which were even more prevalent in the past than they are now. And, sadly, this historical counterpart is also complicit in some moral tragedy common to their time, perhaps not out of malevolence or ill-will, but merely through indifference or ignorance. 

This exercise is to write a short letter to this historical friend arguing that they should care about a specific group that your present self values. Imagine that they are complicit in owning slaves, or in the oppression of women, people of other races, or sexual minorities.

For the sake of this exercise, imagine your historical counterpart is not malevolent or selfish, they think they are living a normal moral life, but are unaware of where they are going wrong. What could you say to them to make them realize that they’re doing wrong? What evidence are they overlooking that allows them to hold their discriminatory views? You might want to write a few paragraphs or just bullet points, and spend time reflecting on what you write.
 

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Carta a los primeros hombres y mujeres

Queridos amigos, les escribo desde el futuro. Sí, no se asusten, podría decirles toda una serie de cosas que  han sido inventadas y/o resueltas por la humanidad, pero no quiero abrumarles. Ustedes las irán descubriendo.

Lo que aún no ha sido resuelto, en cientos de años es la falta de empatía con el prójimo, entiéndase por prójimo al conjunto de la humanidad y más allá de ella, a todo ser vivo con capacidad de sentir y relacionarse con su entorno. 

Les invito a realizar un ejercicio de empatía y ponerse en el lugar de cada ser vivo que camina, se arrastra, nada o vuela por la tierra. Pensar en cuáles son sus intereses al amanecer de un nuevo día y cómo quisieran ser tratados por el resto de habitantes de la tierra.

Terminado el ejercicio estoy seguro que serán una mejor versión de si mismos y que en adelante su trato con nuestros compañeros de vida en esta tierra hermosa será mucho más respetuoso.

Debo despedirme, les deseo lo mejor.

G

A letter to a 15th century person
 

Dear friend from the past, this letter might surprise you. I'm also surprised to have this weird opportunity.  Sadly I am writing to you with some bad news. You have been involved in some moral tragedy (although not directly) you had contributed implicitly to perpetuate the exclusion and extermination of an important lineage of people , they called themselves the protectors of creation, the carriers of  thought and the imagination of all the things to come.

Although it is true that  their practices and rituals might seem strange at first sight: they praise the sun instead of God and feel a deep connection with the land and not for mankind. Furthermore, they leave some parts of their body uncovered without any kind of guilt.  But for some unknown reason ,they are the carriers of an important message, one that  has been forgotten by  our own culture a long time ago:  we are part of the whole and we need to be respectful and grateful with all living things. You might be wondering about the meaning of these words? trust me I  didn’t understand them fully either. But I think there is no other message that could resemble  the solutions for one of the important problems that we are facing as humankind.

I don’t have much more time left ,  there aren't enough words to condense to you  all the great inventions and ideas that have changed our story in many ways. But for now I want you to reconsider your  importance and your special role  in an unprecedented historical moment, which will expand the limits of what geographers consider as written. Please don't underestimate your value , and the value of your relatives , you still got the chance to make an impact with your own actions. You still got the chance to preserve wisdom and let future generations benefit.  


 

My dearest Wolfi,

I was reading the Zeitung on Sunday morning. You know that I never skip this self-care ritual of mine, and I was surprised to see your familiar face in a photo taken by a journalist in your town covering a Pro-Rasse rally. I am very supportive of you taking action about the causes that you believe righteous, and this made me ponder whether I should join your National Socialist cause in order to enable the best possible version of the homo sapiens.

I first skimmed Darwin´s Natural Selection theory. It´s indeed impressive. I see how you might be worried about spending resources on taking care of the sick and the weak because we don´t want them to have equally sick and weak offspring. We have done this with dogs even well before we developed script! I understand, why should not we do this with our own species? Good, healthy loyal dogs were fed and had offspring. Unfriendly and sick dogs weren´t fed and taken care of, and eventually, their genes died out.

What I however could not integrate into this reasoning is the argument against tanned people, people belonging to other ethnicities or having particular sexual orientations. This is why I spent my Monday afternoon in the library, reading the scientific research on the differences between Aryans and the rest of homo sapiens. In the past, scientists have made mistakes and new scientific methods and tools have proven them wrong. What if we were wrong here as well regarding which humans should be spared to secure the human species´s best possible evolution?

I could not but think of the African slaves in the US. Ancient empires also allowed slavery, but they didn´t target 1 particular race. Anyone: white, dark, short, tall, strong, or chubby could be a slave and often, slaves would buy their freedom and become citizens. I recently had the opportunity to read more about this topic. Do you know why black Africans and not any other people were enslaved by white colonizers? Apart from taking advantage of the already-existing slave trade in Africa by Europeans and the geographical closeness, of course, it wasn´t because they were inferior, quite the opposite.

White colonizers and native people were dying of diseases against which our African fellow homo sapiens had already developed resistance. So what if black Africans have evolved and are biologically better equipped than Aryans already, and whites have been wasting their precious genes by killing them with hard labour for centuries? We could have saved a lot of money trying to cure diseases for which their genes already had an antidote. It would be a shame that we didn´t interbreed earlier.

Please, consider my observations and I will be looking forward to your next letter. I hope you can give me more insight into the White Supremacy Humanist cause, taking my worries into account.

Liebe Grüße,

Your Victoria G.

Hope this finds you well and your doing great,as it's been awhile.just taught to notify you of an issue,which needs better view,as against the perception,many hold,as regards the issue of racism ,that have been affecting alot of people and it's ongoing, despite variations,in it's engagement. The importance of we humans, cannot be overemphasized,as the choice of coming into a particular tribe, color, religion,and other socio-economic standing's,happen as natural and simple,to all and sundry, without permission. which means, the same blood ,air, alongside other outcomes that flows for all,falls in place,with no boundaries,as nature has bestowed , upon delivery to any individual,asuch, why the hate,based on external appearance and make up,which comes naturally , thereby exhibiting displeasures ,which ushers in disservice to humanity. In the words of Luther king ,who stated he seek of a day,were people would be judged,by the content and capacity they wills,than the color of their skins, because,that only amounts to discrimination and segregation,which can be attributed to a word,Called Racism.As the spirit that binds us all as Humans,implore us,at all times,to reflect that , which aids making the world a better place,for you and for me,than engaging in prejudices, alongside other reasoning,that portrays superiority of one race over another,which have brought about genocide, mass killings and violent measures,which have negatively impacted humanity at large,as we seek to chatting a better direction, through unity and harnessing our diversity as strength.At this point, I seek to remind you,to say no to racism, as we seek our political, economic, social progress, in line with the spirit of humanity that binds us all, towards improving and having a better world.And am wishing you the very best,as I hope to see you soon.

your one and only zumji!!!!

Dear Friend,

It's a pleasure to be writing to you from the future. The world has changed a lot in recent times and I am glad to see women thrive and become all they ought to be while not allowing their gender to limit them.

I know you are passionate about humans although you do not fully understand that women are first humans before being women and therefore they should be treated as humans should be they should be given a right to be educated, make informed decisions about their bodies, stay and feel safe without fear of violence, take on leadership positions, etc.

I would therefore love to encourage you to take this into consideration and reconsider the harm that the patriarchal society is having on women. It is possible to have a world where everyone irrespective of their gender is treated fairly as humans.

Greetings  friend,

 I trust this letter finds you well in the midst of the challenges and changes of our post-colonial era. I have been reflecting on the state of affairs, particularly regarding the struggle for democracy and human rights, and I find it necessary to engage in a conversation with you about a matter close to my heart: the oppression of women.

In our current reality, the plight of Kenyan and African women remains a significant concern, marked by challenges such as gender-based discrimination, and violence against women. Cases of femicide have been on the rise, just the other day Kenyan women had to take it to the streets for a peaceful plea to the government to put measures to end femicide. I struggle with understanding how much can be done now  that our society has been shaped by the aftermath of colonial rule, and the consequences of an autocratic government combined with underdeveloped economies.

I like the term empowerment because no one has defined it clearly yet, so it gives us a breathing space to work it out in action terms before we have to pin ourselves down to what it means from one friend to another, implore you to consider the elimination of gender-based discrimination as a fundamental step towards a more just society. Women, just like men, are entitled to equal opportunities, access to education, and the freedom to pursue their aspirations. Denying them these rights not only hinders individual potential but also undermines the progress of our entire community.

Violence against women is a scourge that must be eradicated. It not only inflicts physical harm but also perpetuates a culture of fear and silence. By championing the cause against gender-based violence, we contribute to the creation of a safer and more compassionate society.

I want to draw your attention to the remarkable achievements of women in our present world. Starting with our very own Wangari Maathai a Kenyan politician and environmental activist who was awarded the 2004 Nobel prize becoming the first black African woman to win a Nobel prize. Today, Africa stands as a global leader in women's public leadership, with several nations, including Rwanda, demonstrating exemplary representation in parliaments and cabinets. African women are not confined to national institutions; they play pivotal roles in international organizations, contributing to vital issues such as peace and security, gender justice, climate change, and economic development.

As we navigate the challenges of our time, let us work towards a future where the rights and contributions of women are acknowledged and celebrated. By embracing equality and fostering an environment that values the agency and potential of every individual, we contribute to the betterment of our society as a whole.

I look forward to engaging in further dialogue on this matter, hoping that together, we can sow the seeds of positive change.

Wishing you strength and wisdom in your reflections.


 

Prezado Aristóteles,

Escrevo para você do futuro! Nesta semana  mesmo toquei em seu nome... Falava sobre a ética da virtude. Como , supostamente, para você a ética deveria ser racional, baseada em suas consequências. Por isso, penso que deve realizar um exercício ético para a sua própria posteridade! O Sr já pensou em sua morte?! Calma... não venho alertar-te sobre ela, não tenho possibilidade sobre isso... Gostaria que pensasse... Depois de sua morte.. quem estaria sofrendo por isso?! Filho...netos? De seus filhos e netos sabemos que pensa em seu futuro depois de sua morte. Mas e de sua esposa? Gostaria que fizesse uma reflexão de como ela ficaria de sua morte. O que pode acontecer de extremo? Ela tirar a própria vida?! O que pode acontecer de sua falta de reação? Não ligar para a sua morte e continuar a vida da mesma forma? Pois então, penso que o caminho seria o do meio! Como você, Aristóteles, pode assegurar-se que sua esposa não irá detesta lo para o resto de sua vida ou não irá sequer lembrar de sua existência?! O que você teria que propor em seu testamento para chegar a este meio termo?

Seu Eterno Aluno, Flavio Bartoszeck. 

Hello traditional Maasai Elders

I hope you are doing well and that the community is thriving. I am reaching out to you from the future with some information that is crucial to changing the direction of our community. This information is about the patriarchy practised in our community and why things should change.

It has long been held that men are the leaders of the community and that women should be subversive to them. In the current world, this is called sexism - the idea that people of one gender (women in this case) are inferior to the other. There are many reasons that you might have to think this way but they are unfounded. 

Think of the things that women are put through in your time. Girls are taken out of school and married off early to older men of your choosing. They are then made to have children from an early age, without taking into account their consent. This is a violation of their rights - why would a person be denied the right to an education, the right to a life of freedom, the right to a choice of their life partner, the right to choose when to have children - just because of their gender?

Another great atrocity that your daughters, sisters, and wives have been put through is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Imagine the pain they go through and the danger it poses to their health. In the modern world, this practice has been outlawed because it is such a massive violation. Please consider the effects and you shall see why this decision was made.

In the modern world, women are treated equally as men. This has led to incredible gains in development and societal growth that your descendants enjoy. Women are just as intelligent and hard-working as men and given the opportunity, they shall help your generation make changes that shall forever reverberate in the community all the way to my present times. Please give equality a chance, for everyone in the community and ensure for each to count for one and none for more and you shall reap the fruits.
 

Thank you,

Your son from a thriving future in which all genders are equal

This is great to see. Seeing that many men are still clinging to past practices and demonizing attempts to modernism, you are proving that revolutionizing mindsets is indeed possible.

Dear friend,

I hope you don't get scared by the content of this letter. Believe it or not, I am writing from the future! I know that you, as a woman, have had a lot of questions about your sense of belonging, and what you think is fair. I know it has been difficult, and your thoughts about the world are different from the rest of the people you usually to talk to. I want you to know that this thought is not true; you are surrounded by a lot of people that, just like you, is noticing that are things that have to be changed, but talk about it takes time and courage; give everyone a little bit of time!
I can't tell you everything that is going to happen, it would be too difficult. But you need to know that even your smallest actions will have an impact. Thank you for having the courage, for never giving up, and for staying with your ideals. Things are going to be better.

I am looking forward to share you more things. For now, please remember that everything is worth it. Good luck and keep going.