An activity for… well, whomever.
I do this initiative in some of my classes called “Snowpocalypse.” It starts with everyone in the class taking scraps of paper and writing things they do for themselves and things they do for others, one item on each piece of paper. The collection of things they do for themselves focused particularly on things that they enjoy, whether at home, in school or out in the world, and the things they do for others should be focused on things they do by choice, not because they are mandated. Perhaps these are things they do because they bring them personal joy or because they are needs that they see should be met and they recognize their distinct capacity to do so. Next we ball all of these scraps up into “snowballs” and have a 4-5min snowball fight. Afterwards we all go about the task of picking them up (yes, this activity cleans itself up) and sticking them in their appropriate places on a Vinn diagram divided into:
- Things I do for myself
- Things I do for others
- Things I do for my community (in the intermediary position)
We take time to look at what we’ve constructed and give space for anyone to move the position of an action to some new category. We find that a thing which so often one person thought of as completely selfish endeavor, from the perspective of another, was a action of tremendous generosity. We process this by delving into a discussion around how we can make simple, every day things into opportunities for transformation and building. All this is to explain a process wherein we guide students to understand their capacity to affect change and growth in their communities. We come to recognize that service and personal fulfillment can be interwoven when each is approached with the proper perspective. We start realizing that “labors of love” don’t have to seem so laborious. I’m always curious about ways in which facilitators, instructors, educators guide their students on this empowering journey of self-realization and I hope to continue sharing inspiring activities as I encounter them. And I hope to keep encountering them… so feel free to send some my way.