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Tuesday, 9 October 2012

'Stand In My Shoes': addressing the empathy deficit - and what you can do about it

One of the most beautiful things someone said about my children recently is that my daughter is learning empathy from an early age because she knows her autistic twin brother is different, and she knows she must treat him with that extra dose of love and respect and understanding. Plus, she will take on being his advocate because she feels what he feels, and it will become second nature for her to stick up for him.

Those words kinda took my breath away, and in reply, I said to this astute observer: if there is ONE thing I want my children to know is how to be empathetic towards their fellow human being, starting with each other.

And so, when a friend told me about the new project he is working on and I heard the word empathy, I was immediately hooked. Watch this:



'Stand In My Shoes' is the project, and it's an ambitious one, though completely achieveable. It's a crowd-fuelled, social change film about exposing what President Barack Obama coined the "empathy deficit" in our world, and the worldwide search for 'social revolutionaries', dedicated to creating a kinda counter-movement of kindness.

Here's more about the project and how YOU can get involved, straight from the site:



This is not just a film: it's an action cry and a platform for many voices on this topic - including yours. If you are passionate about social change film-making like us, there are many ways you can participate in this Project:

Join the Global Film Team
Firstly, we're out to gather a core team of 1000 action-focused global film team members to join our Behind the Scenes Facebook group. Here we'll be filling you in on all the developments, behind the scenes action and asking you to mobilise your community to generate some powerful empathy actions. We'll also be giving away a Production Crew Pass for one lucky member who has managed to refer the most number of friends to the Global Film Team to join us on location anywhere in the World in 2013. To be announced only when we reach 1000 supporters. To join the Global Film Team, Sign up below at the bottom of the page.

Become a StoryTeller
Next, we'll be putting a call out to 500 Film-makers across the World to contribute to our unique, online story-telling platform to build the Film. They will be required to shoot "Social Revolutionaries" nominated in their own communities, and can submit their entry to the platform.

Kurt Engfehr will be directing the action, giving film-makers across the globe a chance to work with him as he selects the Top Ten Stories to be included in the Film! Stay tuned.

Support a StoryTeller

The 500 Executive Producers who have supported our Kickstarter Campaign will be directly supporting the work of our Storytellers - they will also have the chance to vote on which stories they'd prefer to see in the Film. Find out how you can become an Executive Producer here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/peacelily/stand-in-my-shoes-exposing-and-erasing-the-empathy?ref=live

Nominate a Social Revolutionary
Have you been touched by the story of someone extraordinary in your community?

Someone who has overcome great odds and gone on to help others? Someone like Anne Mahlum, an avid runner who founded Back On Your Feet in 2007, after witnessing the homeless problem in her city while out on her daily runs. Back on Your Feet [see: http://www.backonmyfeet.org/] is dedicated to helping homeless people build self-confidence and self esteem through running. They have generated over $4.8 million to continue their work moving hundreds of homeless individuals from dependency to self-sufficiency.

Nominate a Social Revolutionary to capture their story and share it with others. All our accepted Social Revolutionaries will be featured on the Stand In My Shoes online Wall of Change.



To be a true partner in this project - you can participate for as little as $1, and you can become an Executive Producer for as little as $50 - click right here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/peacelily/stand-in-my-shoes-exposing-and-erasing-the-empathy/pledge/new?clicked_reward=false&logged_in=false&p=0&ref=live&v=u

And: follow this project on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SIMStheMovie?fref=ts

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