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Merkel & Ngozi Adichie call for empathy

All too often we find it hard to listen to never ending panel discussions in the ever same format and I always wonder what it takes to truly listen and be inspired. Tonight I found one answer being: simply bring together two people who have reached a lot in their respective, very different fields and who are humble enough - to listen to each other. As did chancellor Angela Merkel and writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in this wonderful conversation tonight at the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus.

Whilst the topics reached from politics and feminism to grief, love and literature, they always knew how to reject "the single story" and instead both emphasized the importance of curiosity in order to understand each others opinions and motivations. As all too often in our society, we don't know much about each other, but we are scared to admit it and stay silent instead. It takes courage to admit what we don't know and dare to ask questions. One way of finding questions, Adichie suggested in her closing words, lie in books - as "reading literature makes you more likely to have empathy, and we need more empathy in the world."

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