So now we understand empathy in NTU and Singapore, what is next? It is time to problem solve to see if we can find a solution within the university community. Together we brainstormed and we came up with 3 key concepts.
1st solution: The Empathy Wall Project
– to create a wall on which people can post their problems and feeling on a post-it/envelope, and others can respond to them using post-it notes. Those message of encouragements and responses can be taken home by those who posted the problem, anonymously.
2nd solution: The Pay-It-Forward initiative
– work together with a cafe/food joint, to create a system in which people may buy a drink/food for others by paying it forward, and attach the receipt together with a post-it on a board nearby. Anyone who needs some food/drink may take that receipt and note to claim the food from the vendor, free of charge. In turns, they may buy another drink for others in need.
– This initiative aims at a long run, to generate this culture of ‘thinking about others’ and to remind people that there are kind people in their environment.
3rd solution: Courtesy flash-mob
– work together with student activities centre and conduct a flash mob, in which several people will act very courteously throughout the day
– print materials can also be given to people to spread awareness
Empathy should be genuine, and it has to come from the heart – hence long term solution is preferred. We decided that the empathy wall would encourage this genuine reaction from students.