Meeting 5: Wednesday, July 6, 10am to 12pm (PST Pacific Time)
Google Doc Work Page: Meeting notes here. http://j.mp/29LzNj2
Name: Edwin Rutsch
I’m director of the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy and founder of IETA. Been working on the empathy center for over 9 years. Would like to network with more empathy trainers and develop an online training MOOC.
A place for
Name: Gray Switalski
I’m an educator with experience working with students from elementary school through college. I’ve taught in both the humanities and the sciences. Currently, I teach high school environmental science, marine biology, and zoology. My educational philosophy includes promoting project-based learning, experiential learning, and progressive education. My other professional background is in animal husbandry. As an environmental educator, I am extremely interested in how we can utilize field work, nature study, and animal experiences to teach empathy, autonomy, and critical thinking skills.
Name: Chuck Pezeshki
Introduction: I’m a professor of mechanical engineering, specializing in design, and a systems theorist with a background in nonlinear physics and chaos theory. I’m currently writing a book on how sentient networks create knowledge and understanding. The answer? Empathy. A good hunk of the book is blogged out at: http://empathy.guru
The ideal IETA for me is a ‘big tent’ approach that lets individuals working in the field plug in their understandings on the scales that they work on. For some, that would be NVC, and individual approaches to establishing deeper connections with other human beings.
For myself, it would involve framing many of the approaches into pedagogical ensembles so that we can spread empathic behavior through our society and world.
For others, it may involve developing empathetic modes of connecting larger constituencies so that those constituencies could bring transformative change to the large, ‘wicked’ problems facing our planet, like global warming.
I am both excited and concerned by the rapid expansion of empathy and Nonviolent Communication practices.
Xcited because I believe this to be a large part of whats missing for the world I wish for and concerned because we may lose the transformative essence if its shared as a methodology to keep the current way of thinking going as opposed to letting ourselves be transformed by it to continually update our way of seeing the world
Key focus for me is how to take care of the quality essence and purpose. Constant work to stay connected to this over time.
Name: Edwin Rutsch
Introduction: I’m director of the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy and founder of IETA. Been working on the empathy center for over 9 years. Would like to network with more empathy trainers and develop an online training MOOC.
A place for
Write interview questions to ask?
3 Interviews of Gray
Where did you discover the word empathy?
Got involved in teaching and enjoyed it..
Went to grad school.
Got a job
Work at a Catholic School. See that other schools lack what they have.
Chuck: authentic self vs. what you can do and produce
Gray: how you can make
Parth Interviews Gray
When was the first time you got introduced to the word empathy.?
6th 7th grade - was band Nervona. Suicide note was Peace, love, empathy,
How did the term evolve for you?
Had to look it up, see that it was more than sypathy, it was sharing in peoples
It was huge, it could bridge relationships, it is key to creating a bond. Between people who are different and that is big in the world, this may seem cheezy.
How would you see the difference between empathy, sympathy and compassion?
Empathy - is actually feeling the emotion.
Compassion is the action.
Sympathy - I see how you feel
What prevents empathy from arising?
Seeing people as the other.
It stands in the way of empathy
What creates that feeling of the other?
Lack of experience, worldview, small bubble.
Gray was introduced to empathy in middle school. Nirvana was a gateway. Experiencing the term was stronger than sympathy. Sharing was implicit. Sharing could bridge relationships. Even if people are drastically different than you. Common ground -- we all have the same feelings. Difference between empathy, compassion and sympathy. Compassion is feeling and caring for other beings. Sympathy is feeling for other beings. Empathy is sharing in an experience.
What creates the experience of ‘the other’? Lack of experience, worldviews, life in a bubble. Kids don’t even go down to the city, and not exposed to things that are different from them.
Edwin Interviews Gray
What is the greatest pain or stress around teaching empathy
Doesn’t always make me line up well with what my bosses want. My views don’t fit in. An experience with a student who would do stupid things, and an administrator blamed it on her. If she didn’t have an empathic relationship with the students, these things wouldn’t happen. Even if it doesn’t fit in the environmental context, working with a school that doesn’t align with goals for the person. Painful not to be in alignment with the value system. School isn’t something you can leave at the office. You’re never really done. I want to believe in what I’m doing. That will make me happy. I want to avoid pain. Want life to be enjoyable.
There was an experience regarding a student and it came down hard on Gray for being close to students and a student in particular, etc. You stand out for teaching differently, in spite of good test results, etc.
“I should be careful” and I don’t know if I’m necessarily aligned about what we are moving towards.
It’s pain for you to not be in alignment
Why is it important for you to be in alignment?
I want to be in alignment of what I do and what I believe.
Why do you want to believe in what you’re doing?
I think that if you don’t have a connection with what you’re doing
What do you want to happy?
I want to make life happy and enjoyable.
What is the greatest pain around Pain?
1. Interviewee Name: Gray
Your Name: Edwin
Insight/Story: Gray wants to feel alignment with her values and her work. And doesn't feel that now where she is working. Teaching and life go together.
Feeling: pain, disconnection.
HMW: How might we… design IETA so that it aligns with members values?
2. Interviewee Name: Gray
Your Name: Chuck Pezeshki
Insight/Story: Gray is a teacher, moving from an empathic teaching community to a more traditional teaching/admin. community
Feeling: Gray feels isolated in her professional community because of a lack of shared values with creating a community with the students as well as the faculty. She feels pretty profound in-group/out-group dynamics associated with her teaching community, and feels like she is in the out-group.
Feedback: Gray is a classic example of an audience that could be supported by IETA. She is young, empathic herself, so is receptive to coaching. She suffers from some level of ego deflation from being in non-empathic networks and needs support.
Gray agrees with feedback.
HMW: How might we… Continue process of support and development. Shared stories of change in hierarchical organizations. Learning how to ‘bud out’ empathic communities inside of Authoritarian/Legalistic non-empathic systems.
3. Interviewee Name: Gray
Your Name: Parth
Insight/Story: Gray feels out of alignment of what she believes and how she practices in.
Feeling: Hopeful about what is possible, frustrated about her experience due to the gap of how she feels in the moment and driven about how she can support her students to come from their authentic selves.
HMW: How might we… .Align organizational processes with what feels authentic and inside of a place of values and vision.
4. Interviewee Name: Gray
Your Name: Gray
Insight/Story: I am a teacher who is unsure about my place at my current position. I enjoy teaching but the place I am at now has created some interesting feelings. My current school undermines my style of teaching and my personality.
Feeling: Confusion, isolation, frustration,
HMW: How might we… provide support to trainees and fellow members?
Grays Interviews Parth
How do you find empathy is valuable to you in your work?
Moved to india, 6 months
Want to create internships
When I talk to rickshaw drivers
I play with the dogs here
Want to create a space to work with NGOs, new language,
My work with empathy - I can connect from a heart space, that is not language.
Empathy goes beyond geographical models,
Empathy touches the heart space
It does not require ???
It just requires vulnerability, safety, In that space
A problem with empathy?
A person abused their power. It became the ‘me ‘show, instead of the ‘we’ show.
I perceived this guy being stuck and not moving
Parth Interviews Edwin
What inspired you to delve into creating this org.?
Looking for meaning, traveling and seeking the meaning of life.
Even in the tech field, I was seeking the meaning of life. Did documentaries about this - came across empathy. This was what I was seeking.
Empathy = moments of deep connections between people.
Empathy as a gateway.
Barack Obama - “Country has an empathy deficit”
The whole world has a deficit, we need a whole world that values empathy. This is what can end conflict and change the world, what can create a more fulfilling life for myself and the world.
What are the practices that you’ve engaged in that have allowed you to connect deeper to your empathic self?
-Empathy circle - Carl Rogers
-We all have empathy, we are in a constant state of empathy even though there are blocks.
-Need to address blocks to empathy. Fear is a major block. So is stress and anxiety.
-Yoga, dance, etc can help relax us to open us up and make up more open to others.
Do you feel as though there is anything beyond empathy?
-Empathy is the gateway to a cornucopia of beautiful feelings. You need to maintain empathy to keep these feelings open. Those feelings are what are beyond empathy.