Leading with Heart
“Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.” —Walt Disney
What does it take to stand up for something or someone? It takes courage, sure, but also "empathy"—the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It's different from "sympathy," in that you aren’t feeling sorry or pity for someone; you are attempting to relate to them by feeling what they are feeling. Without empathy, the most effective leaders from our past and present would not have been able to achieve their most enduring accomplishments. Today at Camp Kinda, you'll learn about the power of empathy, how to communicate with heart, and what it takes to stand up for what's right.
Ask About Today
When is a time you have shown "empathy" or stood up for someone else?
Who do you know who is really good at connecting with people and leading with heart?
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Some of the most effective leaders of our past have been the greatest teachers of empathy—that ability to understand how are other people are feeling—for the leaders of our present. Watch as these renowned young leaders from different corners of the world stare their fear in the face, step inside of the world of the issue they are most passionate about, and take a powerful stance for their community and the world.
A 12 Year-Old's Moving Call for Change
At only 12 years old, Timoci Naulusala’s opening speech captivated world leaders at the United Nations' annual conference on climate change in Bonn, Germany.
Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.
The Power of Silence
Sometimes, the strongest call for change involves no words at all. Watch Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the Parkland School shooting in Parkland, Florida, give a powerful March for Our Lives speech. Make sure you watch it until the end!
Mari Copeny, the Heart of Flint, Michigan
Having empathy and heart means knowing yourself and embracing your passion. There's no better example than Mari Copeny, AKA "Little Miss Flint," who is raising awareness about her Flint, Michigan community and its fight for access to clean water.
Watch Mari at Work
Watch Mari Copeny put her heart into it as she addresses a crowd about her experiences with unclean water.
Walk in Someone Else's Shoes
Just like your words, the choices you make can have a direct impact on other people. Practice putting yourself in another person's shoes by playing a game that encourages you to make decisions to create change. Digital Compass will take you on a journey and lead you to apply the skills you've learned this week to stand up for others!
3 Ways to Boost Your Confidence
Standing up for what you believe in can be scary at first. Did you know that you have the power to grow your own confidence? Check out this animated video to learn the top three ways to do that, right now.
In the world of activism, empathy and passion for an issue often leads one to action. However, for true change to come about, you must motivate others in your community and beyond! The leaders you listened to earlier all started where you are now. They didn't always have a following. At some point, after taking their own stance, they had to ask themselves, "how do I convince others that this issue is important and that it affects more people than just me?" Well, this is the moment where you begin to think about the story you will share to bring others into your movement.
What Do You Want to Say?
Earlier in this adventure, you chose an issue you cared about and collected input from your community. Now, you'll take a stand by writing your own motivational speech that rallies others to join the your cause and stand alongside you as you change the world!
Start by writing down the 3-4 most important things you think you want to say. Going back to our example about cleaning up the neighborhood, for instance, you might write down things like:
- 8 out of 10 people in our neighborhood say that litter is a problem!
- Trash on the street looks bad, and also affects our health and safety
- If we all work together, we can keep our neighborhood cleaner
- Let's all pick up at least 1 piece of litter this weekend
Think about what people need to know about the issue you care about—and what you want them to do to change things.
Write a Draft of Your Speech
Once you know what you want to say, start turning those points into a speech. Click the button for some helpful tips on speech-writing.
Remember to think about communicating with heart and empathy. Try to connect with people by explaining why this issue matters so much to you, and why they should care about it, too. What can you say that will help them understand your perspective clearly? How can you inspire them to do something different?
Don't be intimidated! Your speech doesn't have to be long or complicated. Use your own words and speak from the heart. Start by simply writing a few sentences to serve as your opening lines. See how one activist did it in this example.
Practice Your Speech
Got a draft written down? Great! Now it's time to practice. Reading your speech out loud will help you see where you might want to add more information or change the way you say something. It can also help you get feedback from others, like your siblings or family members, about what might make it even better.
Great speeches are more than words on a page. They're delivered with passion and make people feel connected to you. That takes emotion and heart, too. Think about your tone of voice, how fast or slowly you speak, and even your facial expressions and hand gestures. Watch this video to see how one 10-year old uses all of these tools to deliver a great speech about kindness.
"Let's Move" Flash Workout
"Let's Move" is a great example of a campaign slogan—short, simple, and focused on action. It was created by First Lady Michelle Obama in 2011 to encourage kids to be physically active and healthy. To help get the word out (and get kids bouncing!), the First Lady tapped legendary musical artist Beyonce to develop a new song and a "flash workout" to go with it. Ready to give it a try?