The Peacebuilding Workshop at GYV pushed me to be less invested in myself and more interested in understanding the stories and experiences of others. The activity that stuck with me the most was one where everyone shared stories. When we were finished, the others retold our story from their perspective. This activity forced me to really, really listen to what the other person was saying and not to lead with my assumptions.

After having the Peacebuilding Workshop every day for two weeks, I feel like I have become much more compassionate toward people I haven’t even met. I am able to gain so much more from each interaction I have. I try hard not to jump to conclusions about anybody or judge somebody before I meet them. The skills I learned helped me make some of the closest friends I have ever had.

It’s not easy making an effort to reflect on someone else’s words without comparing their experiences to my own, but I now know how important this is. Peacebuilding helped me understand that people have a lot to teach each other. If everybody could spend as much time hearing one another as they do thinking about themselves, there would be a lot less conflict in our world.

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