Reflection Time and Prayer of the Day Good Morning Brown Clee! I hope you all had a lovely weekend and managed to dodge the showers! Today I want to continue with our theme of Compassion and Empathy – as now that we have had lots of discussion and experiencing identifying emotions it is important that we understand why showing empathy is important – as once we have seen someone feeling sad, for example, we need to know how to respond compassionately. I am going to show you quite a grown up video about a fox, a bear and an antelope with a narrator describing empathy. In the video it says that empathy has 4 stages: Taking the perspective of other people (eg putting yourself in their shoes!) Staying out of judgement (eg not criticising or judging) Recognising emotions in other people (noticing how people are feeling – and you showed last week that you are all very good at this one!) Communicating emotion (this is the tricky bit – knowing how to respond in a helpful way). Have a watch and listen and see what you think – Which animal is sad? Which animal shows empathy? and why? Which animal doesn’t show empathy? and why? A very grown up video – but could you work out which animal was sad? – The Fox. Which animal was showing empathy – the bear! The bear didn’t try and fix the sadness of the fox – the bear listened and made a connection; the bear understood the feeling but didn’t simply try and ‘look on the bright side’ or reply by saying “At least….” What about the antelope? Was the antelope really bothered about the fox feeling sad? I think the antelope didn’t like seeing fox sad, and tried to make things better by saying nice things – but the antelope didn’t show empathy – he didn’t show that he knew how the fox was feeling – he didn’t connect with the fox. Who would you be – the bear or the antelope? I want you to imagine that you are really, really sad….you’ve lost something that’s very special to you – and then think how you would want your friends to behave towards you. For example, if I had lost my dog I would definitely be feeling very sad. Do you think I would be happy if my friend just said “At least you had a dog” or if they said “Don’t worry, you can always get another one!”. I don’t think this would make me feel better – as that person isn’t showing that they understand why I am so sad – they just want to make me feel better. But if I had lost my dog I think it would take a bit of time before I felt better – and I think it would be ok to feel sad. I think what I would need would be someone to show me that they care about me feeling sad as they know what feeling sad is like…so they might listen to me or lend a friendly shoulder to cry on or offer a hug. Does that make sense? Empathy is complicated and tricky – if you can try and put yourself in your friends shoes when they are feeling sad then that’s the first big step! We all need to be that person that friends can lean on in times of trouble. Prayer of the Day Dear God We thank you for our friends and for the happy times we share with them. Help us to be a good friend to them. Teach us how to play fairly and to share. Help us to recognise sadness in others and show friendliness towards them. We know that you are our friend and will be with us always. Amen.