Check him out

April 20, 2009

Who is a wise man? He who learns from all men. — The Talmud

From CS Monitor -- A Living Library

A friend sent along a Christian Science Monitor article on Living Libraries that I want to also share with you,

Here’s the premise – go to your local public library on a specific date and, instead of checking out a book, you are able to “borrow” a type of person about which you’d like to learn more. Curious about the Islamic tradition, being a fireman or what an undertaker does? Just sign up to spend a bit of time asking all questions you might have been previously embarrassed or fear to ask. A Living Library creates an opportunity for us to investigate the truth behind stereotypes and expand our perspectives.

Yet, could we not also bring this model into our every day lives? I propose describing the living library concept to another and following with the question, “Might I borrow you for a ½ hour?” I know I would be honored to be given the opportunity to dispel myths or clarify beliefs that another might hold about me, wouldn’t you? 

Hope you enjoy this article and find rich opportunities to “check out” someone who might pique your curiosity!


Deidre Combs

Deidre Combs is the author of three books on cross-cultural approaches to resolving conflict and overcoming challenges:  The Way of ConflictWorst Enemy, Best Teacher  and Thriving Through Tough Times. The books integrate perennial wisdom from the world’s lasting cultural traditions with systems theory and brain research.

Dr. Combs is a management consultant, executive coach, mediator and core instructor in Montana State University’s Leadership Fellows Certificate Program and Columbia University’s Teacher’s College Global Competence Certificate Program. Since 2007, she has also taught intensive leadership training to State Department-selected students, teachers and professional leaders from throughout the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Latin America and Pakistan’s FATA region.

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