From 23.02.22 to 02.03.22, we were in our training-course entitled ECIPATION, critical thinking for a more inclusive society.
During 7 days, with 30 participants coming from Portugal, Spain, France, Greece, Italy and Estonia, we explored the topics of critical thinking and discriminations related to LGBTQI+, disability, origin or gender.
After this week, one participant sent us an article he wrote about his experience.
We are sharing it with you now. He entitled his article "Critical thinking as Europe's own DNA".
Enjoy the reading ;)
Critical thinking as Europe's own DNA
"Over the last few years, the world has been evolving at such an accelerated pace that many solutions to many problems affecting different areas have emerged. The depth of such reflections has been possible thanks to great thinkers, and a more dynamic social framework has been built, offering an infinite number of very fruitful opinions. Although many points of view and improvements have been achieved, there is still a large part of society that does not practice critical thinking and leaves it on the surface of social relations. Then, it is easy to question the veracity of things, to doubt the way of seeing life or the very interconnectedness of communities today. For many people, critical thinking is perhaps merely a philosophical and utopian perception of life's journey, while for many others it is a real effect of the ongoing struggle of values. But... are there still sufficient reasons to continue to think differently? The answer is yes, and it rests on the constructive foundation that there are still associations, groups and individuals who cooperate to achieve a more critical and equitable world.
After having attended the critical thinking Training Course organized by the Via Brachy association in France, one thinks about a possible global change. This type of change is not only general, but is born on an individual basis and is first in our hands. Pending practice, the change pursues a more convenient social scenario where people make a difference through respect and solidarity. Just one week of learning has been more than enough to find out the social panorama of different countries in Europe which differs in the existing values among the majority of the European youth. The youth of Europe are the future, and the sustainability of the social community depends on them.
Despite the fact that they are all in the same group, the truth is that in countries such as Portugal, Greece, Estonia, Spain or France itself, there are still differences in terms of social progress. Regardless of the political or economic phenomena of each country, a real social scenario that varies substantially is described in different ways. Nevertheless, and surprisingly, all of them also have points in common, such as their own futuristic vision of change and their commitment to a more diverse society.
The dynamization of the various groups participating in the project has served to develop unique, exemplary, and useful activities that seek not only to review the unfinished business in social matters, but also to implement and put into practice all that has been learned after returning to each country. The comparison of the reality of minority groups by country has served to perceive the existing needs that a solid and united Europe increasingly demands. Having advanced quite a lot in human rights for European minority groups such as the LGBTIQ+ community or immigration itself within this continent, the truth is that it is necessary to go deeper and advance as much as possible in terms of critical thinking. Similarly, other areas such as mental health are still quite stigmatized and need to be worked on collaboratively to operate positively in building a more respectful society as a whole.
The rural and little-known France as the location of the project has been a complete success that has served as a real example to remind us that it is still possible to move forward in terms of pragmatism in social improvement actions. Indeed, throughout the Occitan region, different alternative communities coexist in which they strive to achieve a society that is more committed not only to people but also to the environment. It is up to us to plant a seed of hope, as well as to fertilize our lives with respect and critical vision. This our planet has the right to be cared for and pampered with our contribution to make a big difference in all the results we can achieve as a human group. Europe needs to be a pioneer in this and being able to nurture critical thinking is vital to uncover the social problems that exist today and address them. Such critical thinking will have to be applied rationally, eradicating the prejudices that have been harvested over time in a superficial and materialistic environment. It is not extraordinary to recognize that there are still pending subjects in the growth as people, and it is necessary to opt for other types of social alternatives to turn these types of tendencies around. Freedom will begin to make sense after a complete commitment to diversity, leaving aside stigmatization in all existing groups of opinion.
Non-formal education remains an essential tool to mobilize young people in Europe and only it can serve as a lever to break down barriers marked by differences. In the end, our perspective can be altered and only we can succeed in seeing the advantages of social inclusion and European unity. We must remember every day that it is feasible to digest prejudices and make an effort to fight against them. The commitment to the critical pill will serve as an alternative to social improvement and will allow our society to rejuvenate in a healthier and more enriched way. Critical thinking will thus become a symbol of Europe's own DNA. Let us remember it."