Cultivating Empathy to Make Central Oregon a Better Place to Live | Local News | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Pin It

Cultivating Empathy to Make Central Oregon a Better Place to Live 

Making Central Oregon a better place to live; Bright ideas for a changing community

As told to Editor Nicole Vulcan via phone:

click to enlarge EDUARDO ROMERO
  • Eduardo Romero
I think that I live in this naive notion in my head of empathy and understanding of differences, and that doesn't mean you have to agree, or change someone's opinion, but actively listening, and what that concept in itself means, and what it looks like—just to have a greater threshold for when we talk about different communities, or someone who is just different from you in whatever facet. Because when we're talking about welcoming, the contrast to that would be unwelcoming, or non-inclusive. So, to me, where does that derive from? I think that comes from a place of trying to, or wanting to understand. Not trying to change your ideas, or your ideology, but it's just to have empathy.

I think it's a combination of exposure and self-discovery, or understanding the willingness to do that. Like for me, in my work, I try to do that within the outdoors; using the outdoors as an environment to set the stage to try to cultivate that. At the same time, when we talk about Central Oregon at large, I think it's that combination of the individual self. 

Be curious and/or set up an environment with that intention of bringing together people with differences, whether it's left or right, or how you identify in any facet, like race and gender. Also, set a safe place to—I don't know if that's even possible—but setting an environment for that, so you could just learn from each other, not trying to change everybody's opinion in either direction. I think there is a big disconnect, as well. We don't like to be told, and it's kind of what we're doing—setting up an environment where differences are able to be expressed and understood.

— Zavier Borja is a newly elected member of the Bend Park and Recreation District Board of Directors and the founder of Vamanos Outside, a group formed to connect, engage & inspire Latinx families & community into the outdoors.

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • My Marvelous Mentors

    My Marvelous Mentors

    Jim Anderson pens a farewell to readers
    • Aug 26, 2020
  • Make Masks Cool

    Make Masks Cool

    Bend nurses dole out PPE for fellow workers, after an angel donation falls in their laps
    • Mar 31, 2020
Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
BINGO for Street Dog Hero

BINGO for Street Dog Hero - On Tap

Wed., Sept. 22, 6-8 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

Latest in Local News

  • Noticias en Español

    • Sep 15, 2021
    ¿Un pequeño aumento en las mascotas devueltas? More »
  • End of an Abstraction

    • Sep 15, 2021
    There's no single view among veterans on the Afghan withdrawal, but they do face unique challenges both during their service and after More »
  • A New Way to Manage Houseless Services?

    • Sep 14, 2021
    After continued growth in the population without homes, Bend city councilors seek to centralize service providers More »
  • More »

More by Zavier Borja

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2021 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation