“How can we begin to embrace someone?” I ask.
“You need to ask them questions. When you look at someone, you can only know them on the ‘outside’. But when you talk to them, and they answer your questions, you will understand them on the ‘inside’,” 6-years-old Megan answers.
About a week into our Embrace project, the K2’s discussion led to the discovery of the ‘outside’ and ‘inside’ layers of a person.
Left: Sample videos of interviews. Right: Interview props for role playing at their learning corners.
To explore more about the ‘inside’ layer of a person, we analysed interviews and created interview questions as a means to practice our questioning techniques.
We transcribed our opinions and learning so that we can analyse it after. According to this particular duo, “[Humor] can make [conversations] more interesting, so next time we will use when we talk to people.”
Through the subsequent weeks, we met up with 5 people from different walks of life to understand them on the inside.
We interacted with Filmer, an 18-years-old baker and entrepreneur of Filmer’s Cake. While his left hand is unable to function, he practiced, persevered and finally mastered cracking eggs with only one hand. Once, he even practiced cracking 150 eggs at one go!
Born with hearing impairment, Joyce relied on sign language and cochlear implants to communicate. She taught us simple greetings and our names in sign language.
We thought: Apart from our different means of communication, how different are we, really?
P.S. Joyce’s favourite food is Hokkien Mee!
1st: Sign name is letter ‘N’ + gorilla because “my favourite animal is gorilla!” 2nd: Sign name is letter ‘A’ + grapes because “I like to eat grapes.” 3rd: Sign name is letter ‘Y’ + stars because that’s my favourite thing.
Grandma Zhu & Jenny
“You weren’t [always] old, right? Can you tell me more about you when you were 6-years-old?” Asher asks candidly.
Fascinating childhood stories and photos from our dearest schoolkeeper, Grandma Zhu and a classmate’s grandmother, Grandma Jenny, enlightened us - they were once children like us, they were once working like our parents! We had very much in common.
“How can you help senior citizens? Hold their hands, talk to them, help them carry shopping bags, cross the road with them. Don’t worry too much. It’s a great joy to the elderly when you have love in your heart,” Grandma Jenny shares.
Superhero Me’s Captain Jovan
Captain Jovan is an artist with Autism. He was humorous, captivating and so inspiring. We played and joked around with him as though we’ve been friends since forever! Along with the other Superhero Me team, he came down to share about his story, showed us his sketchbooks and even did a live drawing session with the children.
To conclude, through our encounters and conversations, we further solidified our prior understanding that we are all different in our thinking, mannerisms and preferred means of communication, but innately, we are more similar than we are different. We all have feelings, stories to tell, and a yearning to belong and be loved.