Information plays a vital role in respect and disrespect people show towards each other. Misinformation and disinformation can create false perceptions about each other, earning both respect and disrespect.
The objective of this activity is to learn how to hold our assumptions lightly and to be aware that some information can be misleading creating disrespect or false respect towards a person.
- Arrange few chairs in a structure of a bus.
- Invite a few volunteers who would be given the characters such as school principal, religious leader, politician, garbage collector and a drug dealer.
- Randomly pick some bus seats and label those with the above said characters.
- Request the volunteers to sit on the labeled seats, but ensure they do not sit on the labeled seat that belongs to their character.
- Ask the remaining volunteers to enter the bus from behind where they can see the characters given to the ones seated.
- Instruct them to carefully observe and sit wherever they would like to sit.
- Give the participants 4-6 minutes to be in the bus with the instructions for the second set of volunteers to ask the respect and disrespect related questions from the volunteers who are already seated.
- Do you feel heard when you voice out your opinion?
- Are you a role model for people?
- Do people greet you when they see you are at a public space?
- Do people use respectful language when they talk to you?
- Do people seek advice from you to improve themselves?
- Do people let you intervene when there is a dispute and solve issue?
- Do you get invited to events and ceremonies in your community?
- Do you have to be in a queue or do you get special privileges when you are in a public space?
Did the answers match with the characters you have seen? Were there any gaps?
How did you feel when your initial perception based on the label was challenged with their answers?
- How did the activity make you feel?
- Ask the second set of volunteers:
After revealing the actual characters of the first set of volunteers the following reflections can be made,
- How can misinformation and disinformation lead to strong assumptions and stereotypes?
- How can we use respect for others as an intervention during these situations?
- Optional: Have you been treated with disrespect due to misinformation or disinformation? How did that make you feel?