BENEFITS 5

Participant Testimonials of Taking Part 
in an Empathy Circle.



Individualism versus Collectivism 
2019-02-02: INDIVIDUALISM
(VIEW: Video on YouTube  

YouTube Video



Thank you everyone for coming today and expressing your thoughts openly and honestly.

  So, I... thank you everyone for coming today and um, expressing your thoughts openly and honestly. I felt that was wonderful.  And, um, I really enjoyed, um hearing everyone’s thoughts about uh, the different societies and decision-making. It’s always one of my favorite topics. And I’m glad that this structure provided a way for everyone to be heard um, by different people. 
Evan



 I think it was an interesting circle. 

 I think it was an interesting circle. I’m gonna use my time, I just, there’s a couple things I want to respond to… .you know, I really felt a need to respond to. 

First was, Evan said, I think Evan’s confusing empathy with sympathy, that you can empathize with someone and still not care, so to speak. Because, I can listen to someone and repeat it back, but if I don’t think it’s a good idea, I just don’t think it’s a good idea. 

So there’s that. And also, I think my view, to kind of sum up a lot of this...one thing I like about our constitution….the way it's set up, it’s set up so we have the right to the pursuit of happiness. It doesn’t say we have the right to happiness. There’s a difference. 
David


I love, you know, having people from other countries and other perspectives, and uh, I had a really good time.

 Um, well I really enjoyed everybody and I feel that I’m making progress as I just kinda do this as a habit. And I just, I enjoyed really hearing everybody. I love, you know, having people from other countries and other perspectives, and uh, I had a really good time. I only wish for, you know, sometimes I mean the technical, you know, issues would be the one where I would say that. But, I kinda feel it’s kinda like the growing pains. It kind gives seasoning to the whole experience. So I had a good time, thank you all.
Bill


 It’s gotta be somehow, um, some motivation to stay in the game. And I kinda have it, but I’m looking to increase that. 

 Um, I… I’m kind of having a hard time with these circles lately. Like, at first I was sort of looking forward to them and lately I’ve been kind of dreading them and not going out of my way to do it ...if I haven’t you know, committed. And I’m wanting to find a way... I think there’s kind of two things going on there. 

One is like, just that we’re you know, getting in to some tougher things. We’re not just talking on the surface like when we started out about just the meta-issue of dialogue, we’re actually getting into other things. 

And the other thing is that maybe I need to find some way to kinda make it personally sustainable for me and I’m not sure what that is.  Because its, you know, if it turns into a thing that I am dreading then I’m not gonna do it and if other people... It’s gotta be somehow, um, some motivation to stay in the game. And I kinda have it but I’m looking to increase that. 
Meagan



today I feel kind of lack of, again, lack of right-wing perspective on what we talking.

Well it’s my second meeting uh, talking with you together in the empathy circle in public and I regret uh, that my language skills are not good enough and sometimes I lose some meaning of what you saying, I regret that. Unfortunately it's impossible to understand everything you saying. 

That’s one thing; it’s very personal. But, well, today I feel kind of lack of, again, lack of right-wing perspective on what we talking. I feel like, only David was showing this kind of right-wing perspective and it's not enough when, uh, in the last, uh, statement Meagan expressed her feelings, and I would be interested what would David say.

 Well, I know we do not cross-talk, we try to, we try the empathic listening, but still I would like to hear his point of view on what she said. And the third thing, I feel the need to talk what we actually mean by right, left, by socialist or conservatism. I think... I’m from a communistic country, post-communistic country. And I was actually adult when the system collapsed. I was acting in this country when it was still a communistic country and I feel that we sometimes talk about different things. We mean different things by right, left, and maybe it's a good idea to talk about that, to listen to each other: what we actually mean by that. Left, right, communistic, conservative, supremacist - what is it?
Carolina



Ethics and Tactics
 Eg How do you feel about the idea of "by any means necessary"?
(VIEW: Video on YouTube and on Facebook)
2019-02-02: ETHICS-TACTICS

YouTube Video



I’m always happy to be a part of a group of people who can actually talk to each other without... without becoming hostile to each other

I’m just really happy that everybody could talk to each other and express their viewpoints and I think we need more of that with each other. And I’m always happy to be a part of a group of people who can actually talk to each other without...without becoming hostile to each other. 
Jessica


I must admit the phrase empathy tent turns off a lot of people on our side because, I think, a lot of people, they hear “sympathy tent” and that’s the last place they want to be sitting in... 

Yeah, I think it went OK. I was able to get another right-winger here. I’m going to continue to work with my side. I must admit the phrase empathy tent turns off a lot of people on our side because I think a lot of people, they hear “sympathy tent” and that’s the last place they want to be sitting in and I try to explain to them how [adult?] empathy is…. I’ve gotten people on my side, last night someone got mad at me….

You mentioned earlier how you think, you’d like people on your side to stop being keyboard warriors and do something like this, and I actually called someone out that I knew this whose always sending me memes and videos and I’m like, dude, like, there’s enough memes and videos, would you like to join us and do this? And he got upset with me. He’s like “how dare you?” 

He’s like “you don’t understand, I got a job.”  I’m like, dude, you live in the South, it doesn’t matter. I want you to take it to the next level or stop sending me memes, you know? And uh, he got kinda upset with me. But yeah, I’m trying to get people on my side over here because we’re you know, it’s like usually more lefties than righties, so um anyway I think it went OK, that’s all. 
David

 I’d like to say that I think this is a really valuable and challenging experience.

 I’d like to say that I think this is a really valuable and challenging experience. I really want to thank David and Jessica because last circle I was in there wasn’t very differing views and this obviously works best when there… When we have things to work through and conflicts to resolve. It was really challenging and really rewarding. I think this is the next level of civility. 
Nicolas


That being said I love getting together and talking. It’s a lot of fun. 

 Sure. Yeah, I had a little big of a headache. I’ve been doing empathy circle all day. Little bit of a damper on my concentration. Sort of the technical issues is a little bit difficult with the microphones and the URLs. that adds sort of a layer of stress in the circle. 

That being said I love getting together and talking. It’s a lot of fun. I keep hearing these deep insights. The things you were talking about Meagan and Corey. And everyone keeps bringing in some kind of kernel and I feel like I really learn and grow. I’m looking forward to doing more and more of these. 
Edwin

I know everyone else is feeling similar levels of discomfort. We’re all here feeling discomfort together.

I haven’t done this in a few weeks. I really liked how you put it on a spectrum from “bothered” to “disturbed”...”bu… I know everyone else is feeling similar levels of discomfort. We’re all here feeling discomfort together. I’m gonna send a link of the universal human needs list to the message thread we had going so that we can start to at least introducing the idea of other needs besides the physical basics. So Ill do that and see you guys next time. 
Corey


I really liked this call. It’s interesting. The one this morning, I wasn't feeling totally heard or i wasn’t able to articulate myself in a way where I felt heard. I also enjoyed having two different people who consider themselves more conservative. Not just avid our token right-winger and then I can see the diversity of people who identify that way too and its not like flattened.

 I just feel hopeful this vision oh there’s gonna be a big really let’s set up a whole palza full of empathy tents. I mean it is a little unrealistic there’d be a lot of challenges doing that but the vision is inspiring to me The recording should be up in the group soon. 
― Meagan




 Incarceration:  How do you feel about the high incarceration rates in the USA and what can be done about it?
(VIEW: Video on YouTube and on Facebook
2019-02-16: INCARCERATION

YouTube Video




We are creatures of habit. So, yeah, this is part of my sort of, practice. And I feel again as I said in the beginning extremely grateful to meet new people from all over the world and hear and interact and also see how they react and what they’re feeling. You know I’m really happy about it. 

 I really don’t wish for much more. I hope… I share Edwin’s aspirational views for where it could go. And so I’d love to see it expand. But you know, I’m just feeling very appreciative, and appreciative for the little culture of empathy that we’ve created right here right now. 
Bill 


I appreciate the opportunity to practice actually what I would like to try one day here in Poland with some of my colleagues, friends. 

Well obviously for me the language skills I kind of worry and sometimes I have problems with understanding you especially when you use some words, metaphors.  But I appreciate the opportunity to practice actually what I would like to try one day here in Poland with some of my colleagues, friends. And I have just one question sometimes some speakers sounds like they are kind of cavernous. It’s more like drumming than voice, than a human voice, it’s drumming than speaking. For me it’s very difficult to understand. I don’t know if it's a microphone setup some of us have or something. 
Yeah, it’s kind of problem, obviously bigger problems to me as I have difficulties with understanding you. But yeah I appreciate the opportunity to talk to you and try to reflect you and especially today this talking about restorative practice was very fruitful to me, kind of open minding listening to you.
Carolina 



One thing I forgot that came across my mind while we were speaking about time, the time this takes, is this idea came to me that, what do we do in our society? We send all the old people off on vacation, off to retire in Arizona, off to this community, off to that community. Those are the people that have the time throughout history, being the peacekeepers, being the listeners, the nurturers.

 We just separate them out and then we take the people who need them over years and years and years and haven’t had the old people and then they can’t cope and so we send them off to prison. It’s like there’s this...bringing more connection between all the generations I think is a big key here. Is a big important piece of this problem. Anyway so that came to mind while we were talking about where do we get the time for empathy. Anyway, that’s all I have on my mind. 
Jyoti 


Ok, then, see, for me the first thing is the audio. That is true that I have a microphone up here. And then I think if we’re farther away it probably becomes, you pick up more room sounds. I have been thinking about getting one of these microphones you can bring up close. So having good technology is definitely something to kinda work on. Or getting closer to the microphone, that kinda helps too. So thanks for bringing that up.  
Edwin




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