Pausing for a moment to put oneself in the shoes of another makes a big difference. It’s easy to see or hear something without reaching that point where you know how it feels. We all have empathy, and it allows us to come close to how another feels without being in the exact same situation ourselves. Not identical, to be sure, but close enough to relate. As you watch the i-ACT videos, try putting yourself in the shoes of the people we meet. Hopefully through their words and expressions, with your imagination and intuition filling in the rest, you can feel some aspects of the lives of Darfuri refugees. The food, the tents, the sanitation, the threat of violence, the idleness, the separation from loved ones, the abandonment of a life as full as any of our’s, the desire to return the moment there is peace. Hopefully you can, painful as it may be, for a moment imagine how it’s like to be there during the atrocities. When your village was bombed from the air, then attacked from the ground by men in vehicles and horseback, when people near and dear were killed as they ran, when all your possessions were destroyed or stolen. Just as we have not turned a blind eye to the genocide in Darfur, we should not shy away from these feelings.
I love the portraits we took of people. Frozen in a still frame, with no ambient noise or movement, one gets to look closely at the face of a person. Into a person’s eyes. In that instant all pretense falls away and one realizes that if even a single one of these people was hurt, or killed, or separated from family, or forced to abandon home, that itself is a price too high to pay.