Five finds of the fortnight: Edition 16

Project Empathy: Closing circle

Dear reader,

After close to twenty weeks of hosting empathy circles, Project Empathy is winding down (for now). We began offering the circles when the second wave was at its peak in India; as the wave receded, we saw that fewer and fewer people needed immediate support and listening. We are grateful for all the trust we have received from our participants, and the constant support of our spaceholders.

This has been a special project for me: for the warmth I experienced working with the team, for being able to “meet” so many people during a time when I was confined at home; because of the feedback we received from so many, about these circles offering support when they needed it; and for the experience of the flow between giving and receiving that this gave me.

To bring our circles to a meaningful closure, we are holding a Listening Circle for Closure on Tuesday, September 14.

Join us to share how being at the circles has been for you, and also offer your listening ears to our spaceholders, as they share what the experience has been like them.

This circle is for celebrations, mournings and anything else you’d like to share and be heard for.

When: Tuesday, 14 September 2021.

Click here to register.

We truly hope to see you there! It would be very meaningful for us to close in the spirit of community and togetherness.

If you cannot make it and have have been impacted by this project in any way, we would still love to hear about it. Could you send us a few lines about what this experience has meant to you, by replying to this email?

Thank you for being part of this journey.

With warmth,


On behalf of the Project Empathy team (Pranjal, Aditya, Manasi and Ranjitha)

1. Quote of the fortnight

We fall back on compromise when we lack the energy and the creativity to find the synergistic solutions that could get everyone’s needs fully. Compromise is a lack of trust in the compassionate generous nature of human beings that could lead to a shift that would allow for a true and natural “giving to” instead of a compromising resentful “giving in.”

~ Kelly Bryson
From the book ‘Don’t Be Nice, Be Real’

2. On listening

I came across this Mullah Nasruddin story on listening that someone shared on Facebook—and I like the reminder for more self-awareness and responsibility. Read the story here.

3. Nonviolent Communication at Ghidotti High

Watch this inspiring 13-minute video featuring Aya Caspi’s work at Ghidotti High, introducing NVC and convergent facilitation to students and staff.

4. The antidote to toxic positivity

…is tragic optimism, or being grateful even when faced with challenges. Scott Barry Kaufman writes in The Atlantic: “‘Tragic optimism is the search for meaning during the inevitable tragedies of human existence, and is better for us than avoiding darkness and trying to ‘stay positive.’”

Read the article here.

5. Upcoming events

The Living Bridges team has an exciting set of workshops lined up for this month including:

  • Building Interdependent Systems by Duke Duchsherer (September 11)

  • Giving and receiving feedback (Manasi Saxena, September 18)

  • Steelmanning in transforming conflict by Pranjal Tiwari (September 25)

Click here to know more/sign up!

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