TED Rule 11

Wamena, Bailem Valley, West Papua

Plans are made to be changed. From last week in Kuala Lumpur, I took 3 long flights back to Indonesia to arrive in Wamena, a village of the Bailem Valley, in the middle of West Papua. I’m going for a one week trek tomorrow, so no electricity and obviously no internet. Early TED rule this week!

And I’m introducing Sam Richards, an american sociologist.  I found that the method he is using in his talk “a radical experiment in empathy” is a good way to introduce the diverse realities of  the world we’re sharing.

Step outside of your tiny little world, step inside of the tiny little world of somebody else. And then do it again, and do it again, and do it again. And suddenly all these tiny little worlds they come together in this complex web and they build a big complex world. And suddenly, without realizing it, you’ve seen the world differently. Everything is changed. Everything in your life is changed.

Thanks to my sabbatical, it’s quite easy for me to “step outside of my tiny little world”, I do it physically everyday. An it’s one of the goal of my trip: to “attend to others’s lives, other visions, listen to other people, enlighten ourselves”…

But for this TED rule I wanted something even more concrete, or more physical.

If I can get you to step into their shoes, and walk an inch, one tiny inch, then imagine the kind of sociological analysis you can do in all other aspect of your life…

As it was the case in Mentawai, I’m meeting people who don’t wear shoes. So I decided to wear the tiny something else that they’re wearing – called a koteka. ( you can understand I had to blur the picture🙂

I’m not sure I can find a clear sentence to define this new TED rule. Any idea?


3 Comments on “TED Rule 11”

  1. Silvina B. says:

    mmm…be in the others shoes doesn’t work so well for a sentence for this new TED rule…keep going like this and you soon will lose your bicolor skin!

  2. jacques says:

    johnjohn, you rock the free world! Seriously, this photo is amazing. so how long did you wear it in the end?

  3. Mister Jo says:

    Well, the guy was really excited when I asked him if I could wear a koteka, he started jumping all around! And it was quite strange when he helped me to wear it… Anyway, I wore it for 30 min only, I was feeling a bit too self-conscious to come back to wamena with it…


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