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60 Second Idea

‘Wear your guilt on your sleeve’

Each week a global thinker from the worlds of philosophy, science, psychology or the arts is given a minute to put forward a radical, inspiring or controversial idea – no matter how improbable – that they believe would change the world.

This week Jordanian writer Fadia Faquir proposes a solution to feelings of guilt.

“Having lived with guilt for large parts of my life I would like to make it visible. So, if you wake up in the morning feeling guilty you would tie a blue ribbon around your neck or vest and go out of the house.

Other people would see you were feeling guilty about something and they may ask you about what is burdening your heart instead of commenting that the weather is beautiful today. So, it might lead to a conversation about what is making you guilty. 

Also you would see other people with blue ribbons and so you wouldn’t feel on your own. That other people suffer from guilt. It would hopefully normalise guilt, help talk about it and ultimately exorcise it. It would be great for women – particularly in the Middle East because there are a lot of subjects that are taboo and we are not allowed to discuss them. So, to have that blue ribbon could be an opening for a conversation.

Paradise is a space free from guilt, I think.”

You can listen to Fadia discuss her idea with Schindler's List autho Thomas Keneally, and Turkish historian Taner Akcam in more detail on the BBC World Service programme The Forum, where you can also download more 60-second ideas.

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