Do not resist understanding

The Israeli writer David Grossman will receive the Erasmus Prize on Tuesday, 29 November 2022. This year’s theme is connectors in a divided world. Grossman is a connector pur sang. His oeuvre is aimed at actually understanding the other, even the enemy.

“Stop resisting understanding the other. Melt the narrative.”

“We consist of many others,” he says in ‘Buitenhof’. “We should not resist understanding the other. Usually, we dig in and stop listening when we have a conflict with someone.”

He receives the prize for his entire oeuvre in which he tries “to understand people from inside and to see the other with love across boundaries of war and history.”

It’s not about speaking less; it’s about telling differently, communicating with the intent to understand, and talking to persuade. People should not need to change their minds but remain curious about other perspectives on the same theme.

Afbeelding: Uncovering a new understanding – Gwen Samuels