Challenge Seven: The Other Encounter

Your challenge is to understand and empathize with somebody as different from you as possible, preferably with religious, political, or identity differences that are especially difficult for you to understand.


Practice the art of seeing your way into another person’s perspective. This requires seeing your own seeing to move past your assumptions, seeing big to see the historical and cultural conditions that led to your differences, and seeing small to see the specific details of your differences.


1. Find an other. This may be someone in your class or someone you know or meet outside of class, but they should have beliefs, ideas, or ideals that you find very difficult or even impossible to understand. This exercise works best when you really challenge yourself by meeting with an other whose beliefs really bother you in some way.

2. Big Talk. Set aside at least one hour to have a very deep conversation with them. Select questions from the list at to get you started.

3. Reflect on all you have learned about who they are and who they are becoming, where they have been and where they are going, what they have done and what they will do, who they have touched and who they will touch.

4. Take a picture together or an artistic portrayal of what you learned and share your experience. #anth101challenge7