Today’s session started off with a great vibe from both students as well as teachers and I could feel that it’s going to be a great day.
We have talked about the empathy and sympathy and the following cartoon short from University of Houston researcher and Daring Greatly (2012) author Brené Brown’s RSA talk in 2013 explains the difference.
In order to get us into the spirit and make us recognise and possibly find out what we really feel strongly, passionately about and what we emphasize with, we had few exercises. Writing down things that bother us, things that we would change in both our lives as well as in the world. This exercise helped us to release our inner emotions and get the rebel, activist engine going.
You could hear the passion in the sound of markers tapping on the paper. Most of us feel strongly about something in our lifes. There is a lot of injustice and that’s the fact. It is our responsibility as part of the society to stand up for what we believe and especially stand up for those people who cannot do it for themselves, are vulnerable or oppressed. I am the type of person that is very vocal about things that I am not happy with and I don’t just complain but I take action and try to come up with some constructive solutions.
The next exercise was to divide into groups and focus on one particular issue that bothers us. My group focused on disrespect towards another person and bullying in particular. This topic is personal for me as I was a bully at school. The reason of my behaviour was that I was bullied because of my dad’s reputation so in response I became a bully. In my young, confused head I believed that you cannot bully a bully and also it was an easy way to release your frustration. Only when I grew up I have realised what devastating consequences that can have on people. It is like a chain reaction. It devastates the immediate family and also can trigger disruptive behaviour in the person who is being bullied. In some cases it can lead to self harm and also suicide.
We have created very short animation to demonstrate that. I was very impressed with the enthusiasm of my fellow students as we have managed to do so much in such a short space of time.