Despite all of the violence and pain erupting in recent days, there are lots of reasons for hope. Sometimes hope even comes from places you wouldn’t have expected. Like a video created by Heineken back in April that is currently circulating on Facebook. It’s called “Worlds Apart” – An Experiment. It’s a commercial, yet it also carries a message – a message that goes straight to the heart. You can watch it below.

There has been some controversy over whether the commercial was staged with actors or was a true experiment with ordinary people. Heineken claims that there was no acting and that these were all real stories. In the end, I don’t really care. For me, it’s the message that counts.

The inquiry of the experiment is:

Can two strangers with directly opposing views
prove that there’s more that unites us than divides us?

In the beginning of the four-minute video, we meet six people, each paired with a stranger. They have been given instructions for putting together a bar and bar stools. The project required at least two people working together.

As the pairs began their work, it was a bit awkward at first. They didn’t know anything about each other. In particular, they did not know that their assigned partners held specific views or opinions that were in direct opposition to their own. What they did know was that they had a task to do. They had a shared purpose, and all that mattered in the moment was getting the job done.

After completing their task, the partners were asked to sit together for a few more minutes and ask each other two questions:

  • What is it like to be you in five adjectives?
  • What are three things that you feel we have in common?

As they sat down to talk, something felt different between them. Something had shifted. Through working together, they seemed to have developed a level of trust that allowed them to open up to one another as they described themselves. There was even some vulnerability – a couple of the participants appeared to be surprised at what they were willing to share.

After a few moments, the partners were asked to watch short videos of each other that had been recorded earlier – videos in which they had declared some of their uncompromising beliefs. In that moment, they realized that they had been paired with someone whose worldviews were opposite from their own. Suddenly it was awkward again.

After watching the videos, the participants were given the option to leave or to stay and talk about their differences over a beer. No one chose to leave. You can watch what happened below.

Thanks, Heineken, for reminding us about what can happen when we have a common purpose and are willing to connect with one another to achieve that purpose.

Enjoy the video.


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