Matching Hearts: Empathy Workshop
"We learned two things in the empathy workshop: One was how to comfort and take care of others. Two was to imagine what others might be feeling, and to meet them in that feeling. That’s the “matching hearts” part. We did this to get ready to have a walking positivity poster parade to comfort the older people inside the Care Center. Because of their risk of getting sick, they couldn’t go outside or see visitors."
"We started the workshop by putting masks on our animal patients. Then, standing on Story Rock, we took turns telling stories of their injuries or how they got sick, how we knew they needed help, and how we comforted and helped heal them. Then we each called on kids and answered three questions they asked. It sounded like this:
Storyteller Standing on Story Rock: “This is my mama duck, Cupcake. She is going to have babies, so I have to take extra special care of her with extra special attention. I know she needs help because she is quiet, and she likes to cuddle more. I give her vitamins. I feed her healthy food. And we cuddle and watch movies.”
Listeners: [Hands go up.]
Questioner 1: “How do you know she likes vitamins?”
Storyteller with Duck: “Because they are good for you.”
Questioner 2: “Where does she live?”
Storyteller with Duck: “Here. And Florida.”
Questioner 3: “What hurts? How do you know?”
Storyteller with Duck: “Everything. I can just tell. She’s my duck.”
"A beaver with a backpack containing a tiny pair of red plastic binoculars got its tail caught in a trap. We wrote on the tail in Sharpie."
Storyteller Standing on Story Rock: “This is Backpack Beaver. His tail is cut and broken from a trap. He’s wearing this backpack for emergencies, so I think he’s a First Responder. There are some crayons, a notebook, toy red binoculars, a toy tube of sunscreen, and a yellow plastic pear in the backpack, and two real Lifesavers, but nothing to fix his tail. So I drew on his tail and now he feels better.”
Listeners: [Hands go up.]
“Why did you draw on it?”
Storyteller with Backpack Beaver: “Because it was flat and you could draw on it, like paper. And because I don’t usually get to use Sharpies.”
Questioner 2: “What did you draw?”
Storyteller with Backpack Beaver: “Actually, it’s a tic-tac-toe board. But black on brown doesn’t show up.”
Questioner 3: “Can anyone play?”
Storyteller with Backpack Beaver: “Yes. It’s for anyone to play when they visit Beaver in the hospital so he won’t be lonely.”
Question to Reader: Is drawing a game board in Sharpie on a stuffed animal tail a way to match hearts?