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Unlimited empathy

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Ingredients

A circle of people Min. 3 - Max. 25.
Envelopes
Pens
Outdoor space (optional)

Nutritional information

Empathy
Acceptance
Connection
Self awareness
Compassion

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Unlimited empathy

Empathy is patiently and sincerely seeing the world through the other person's eyes. It is not learned in school; it is cultivated over a lifetime. — Albert Einstein

  • 1.5 hours
  • Serves 25
  • Medium

Ingredients

Directions

An empathy circle to deeply connect to the other.

Empathy lies at the core of the human ability to connect to others. The word comes from the German Einfühlung, meaning ‘feeling into’. Empathy then, is to feel into the life of another, and to use that understanding to guide our actions.

This activity invites you to connect deeply to other people through the power of questions and listening. It can be done in small groups (min. 3 people) as well as large groups (max. 25 people) but we recommend making sure everyone agrees to a few core principles, such as opennessnon-judgementauthenticity, active listening and of course empathy. These values ensure you create a trusting circle where people can share freely.

*Image © Seren Dalkiran

Steps

1
Done
10'

Identifying questions

Ask everyone to write down a meaningful life question that is burning for them and that they find challenging to find an answer to.

2
Done
5'

Mixing questions

Everyone puts their question in a separate envelope and all envelopes are gathered in the middle. Everyone randomly picks an envelope.

3
Done
45'

Answering questions

Each person is invited to answer the question in the envelope they picked up, empathising deeply with the person who wrote the question. If it is a large group, you may wish to set a time for each answer so as to ensure that everyone shares and no question is left unaddressed.

4
Done
30'

Sharing circle

The activity ends with an open sharing circle in which everyone is invited to share their insights and feelings.

Greta Rossi

Chief Empathy Officer at Akasha Innovation. Co-founder of ImpactAimers and Recipes for Wellbeing. Regional Coordinator for Ashoka's ChangemakerXchange. Youth coach and FRSA.

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The art of happiness
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Hardwiring happiness