One of the hardest things one can do is listen to the opinions of someone on the polar opposite side of a spectrum. Whether you are Democrat and can’t hear another word from a Republican neighbor, an immigrant who cringes every time a xenophobic comment is made, or a pro-choice activist who cringes every time a pro-life person denounces abortion, having to listen to others can be a real challenge.
However, another question is now brought up. If we can’t listen to the other side, how do we create solutions and how do we reach a peaceful resolution? After pain, ignorance, and hopelessness, it’s easy to give up and ignore people whose minds cannot be changed, but Jubilee Media has a different goal…
Jason Lee started Jubilee Media in 2010. Since then, most of their videos have reached millions of views and they have successfully reached a community of over five million subscribers. The goal? Empathy for human good.
Lee says, “It all started with a single idea: to create a movement for human good. … People want to connect on a deeper level, be challenged, empathize with one another, and share vulnerably; and they want to do it in an engaging way. Sometimes it feels like the world is becoming more divided, chaotic, and cluttered. But if I’ve learned anything in my time growing Jubilee, it’s this: we are all inextricably linked and want to live for something deeper.” Lee challenges us to use our basic human connection to appreciate the difference in opinion and employ our sense of empathy towards those we disagree with.
In a country that seems increasingly divided over identity, race, politics, and gender, we brought six people together to find the middle ground. Assumptions rarely provide a complete picture of someone else’s experiences and perceptions. Can empathy and understanding at the individual level lead to better policy and procedures? Watch our newest episode of Middle Ground: Are Americans Obsessed with Race and Gender? #linkinbio What would you say is the most important part of your identity?
Through their diverse video formats, Jubilee is able to execute this eye-opening message. One of their platforms, “Middle Ground,” manages to bring people together from opposite sides of a spectrum to have conversations about why they think what they think. From atheists and Christians, vegans and meat-eaters, pro-lifers and pro-choicers, socialists and capitalists, pro-vaxxers and anti-vaxxers, the list goes on. This formula creates videos that will leave you questioning the roots of your opinions.
Some people would say this conversation didn’t need to happen. Yet that is why it’s so important to create a space for dialogue. When disregarding or diminishing an idea seems easier and we’re closed off to perspectives that oppose our own, that’s when we need to sit down and simply talk. Not as representatives of an ideology, not as distant others, but as ordinary people, face to face. We invite you to join the conversation with our newest episode of Middle Ground: Men’s Rights Activists vs Feminists #linkinbio
I started watching Jubilee videos in highschool in the midst of the Trump election when I couldn’t even stare a Trump supporter in the eye without turning into a flaming ball of rage. Regardless, I clicked on the video titled, “Can Trump Supporters and Immigrants See Eye to Eye?” Both sides are invited to stand on opposite sides of the room. When a statement is called, those who agree will step into the circle of stools and have a conversation about why they agree. The rest, who disagree, will then join and discuss as well.
The video initiated many different reactions. I found the Trump side to make certain comments that I thought were based ignorance and unfair depictions of immigrants. However, other comments were rooted in fair personal experience.
On the other hand, I found the immigrant side to use a lot of personal background and stories to create valid reasoning and other claims that I didn’t find factually supported enough. I exited the video wondering if it was possible for me to even have a conversation like they did. I won’t lie, I still am an avid anti-Trump activist, but the video made me reevaluate how quickly I make my judgments and where my opinions come from.
However, the most jaw-dropping video is titled, “Can Israelis and Palestinians See Eye to Eye?” In an attempt to confront one of the most complicated international and ideological conflicts known to human history, Jubilee gathered three Palestinians and three Israelis to discuss their ideas surrounding the situation. The video itself left me silent. Each side presents their own stories of violence, death, and destruction, describing the loss of family and the trauma they have suffered. They also describe their perceived ideal solutions to the crisis, causing disagreement among more conservative members of the group. The discussion goes into much more detail surrounding the political actions that need to be taken and the wishes of each member. The video ends in Jubilee providing a meal for the group. They end up eating together and socializing, and you couldn’t even tell they were on opposite sides of a spectrum.
FINALLY! The wait is over! Our greatly anticipated video of Middle Ground just released on our channel! Check out the link in our bio to watch! You all have been sharing our excitement for this special project. While we know we can never capture the entire issue in on video, this video was truly important amazing to make. Thank you so much for each and one of your support and love for all of Jubilee. We also wanted to give a huge thanks to @YouTube to inviting us to be part of this year’s #CreatorsForChange ! — #MyViewCan Bring Us Together. #MyViewCan inspire love and radical empathy. . What can your views do? Post a photo that shows how your views can make a positive impact – big or small.
Jubilee’s message is an important one. I think we tend to lose our sense of human empathy as soon as someone identifies themselves differently. It’s hard to try to relate to someone when you can only see the evil and ignorance that permeates their ideological difference. I can’t lie, I’ve been skeptical of the Jubilee message before. I didn’t want to empathize with people I disagree with on certain “touchy” subjects. However, as stupid as it sounds, listening is important, especially when making a point. Your argument is always stronger if you know who you are up against and where they are coming from.
Jubilee remains one of the most powerful media companies to storm YouTube. Their videos leave me thinking for days. Regardless, some are hard to click on and some leave me in a rage. But disagreement and conflict are intertwined with human nature, so why not listen for once and see if ties can be made? If they can’t, that’s okay too.
I don’t think empathy can fix every issue around the globe. What empathy can do is create conversations we’ve never dared to have, leading a path for a more collaborative society.