Be the Change’s Youth Blog Series highlights blogs written by university student interns at Be the Change Earth Alliance. In the blogs, the interns reflect on their experience completing “Action Packs,” which are learning resources that guide students in research, critical thinking and tangible action related to a global sustainability topic.
Summary of the Action Pack
This Action Pack explores the process of connecting with others through empathy and active listening. Through the research questions and reference links, students will learn how social networks influence people’s lives and how empathy shapes human cultures. The Action Pack discusses techniques for building positive relationships with others from different cultures and the importance of networks and mutual understanding when different groups converge to accomplish a common goal. For example, students can take on actions such as joining a student social club or association that encourages active communication and open discussion, or talk to their family about creating time and space in the house where they do not use technology and instead engage in meaningful conversations. Lastly, this “Me and You” Action Pack encourages students to explore and rank their personal values as a means of learning about themselves. Through this Action Pack, students will develop a sense of understanding of how empathy translates to all aspects of life, particularly in building positive relationships with others.
After finishing this Action Pack, I talked to my family about creating a time and space where we did not use technology. At first they thought it was a good idea and agreed, but shortly after, life continued as it did before and we failed to adopt this behaviour change. I think this was the case because it is difficult to change all of our lifestyles. My parents work during the day, and like to relax in the evenings by watching TV or by using their smartphones. It is difficult to change the habits of others who are comfortable with their current lifestyles. Another action I adopted was running. This was easy for me because I used to run quite often, but due to school, I had to drop the habit. It was refreshing to drop everything on my busy schedule and go for a run, it pushed me to reflect on my day, while keeping me physically active. This Action Pack led me to change my daily routines and question what influenced our daily behaviours.