WHO IS IN MY CIRCLE
Increasing Empathy Through Diversity
Who is in your circle of friends? How diverse is it? Why are these important questions? Research has found that the wider the diversity of our universe the more empathy we feel toward people who differ from us. We all see the world through our own eyes and if all our acquaintances and the people we associate with have a similar view of the world then we are never exposed to different viewpoints. This refection exercise helps us take stock of who is in our circle and how diverse it is.
In the following list of people and groups think about the people in them and ask how diverse they are (race, gender, culture, sexual orientation, religion, disability, socioeconomic status, education, life experience).
1. My immediate family
2. My closest friend
3. The group of friends I spend most time with
4. The neighbors on my street
5. My boss
6. My co-workers
7. My place of worship
8. Places or organizations in which I volunteer
9. The professional services I use (Doctor, Lawyer, Dentist, etc.)
10. The people in my favorite TV show
What do you notice about the makeup of each of these groups?
Do any people in your circles challenge you to look at situations from a different viewpoint?
How might you make your circle more diverse?