We had an empathy group today and I have no proof that it doubled the amount of adolescents that joined us for gym time but I have a hunch that it did. It is so unifying to talk with kids about how people can develop empathy and what empathy is. I truly believe it should be part of the curriculum in our school system, empathy training. We talked about empathy, meaning: trying to understand or imagine what a person is feeling. We spoke about how they may not have lost anyone directly through the terrorist attacks on 9/11 but how we all can imagine how horrible it must have felt to have lost a mother, father, sister, brother, or any other family member to such a horrible event. We also talked about how our mirror neurons are what they are finding play a large part in how we empathize with others. We discussed how we as humans can empathize with other animals and even inanimate objects. We also talked about how a good amount of our understanding is derived from body language and how that is lost in texting and social media translation. Sometimes, the emoji’s just don’t cut it. It is always empowering to see the little sparks of insight and interest in what we are talking about and it drives me to continue to try to reach more and more kids who seek guidance and information. It is always amazing to watch when true interest and engagement starts. I am sure teachers can attest to this feeling. It feels like the whole group is listening and engaged and they all have great stuff to share. What a day. I am so grateful for these times and even the times when only a few kids are engaged. What a gift to be able to witness. I am finished with the 30 day happiness challenge and I HOPE to continue my daily awareness of all that is happy. If any of you remember (Ren and Stimpy), they used to say “happy happy joy joy” . This will always stick in my memory because of how annoying it was and now as my focus expands how beneficial it can be as an outlook.