An event highlight this week was most definitely the launch of the STAND IN MY SHOES project at the glamorous White House venue in St Kilda.
This is an extraordinary initiative because it isn’t asking people to necessarily donate or do anything that’s completely tangible – but rather, to tackle a problem that is more to do with a mind-set and attitude in our global community. It’s all about…
… or rather, the lack of it. So a large number of the social set put their best feet forward to support three filmmakers in creating awareness about the EMPATHY DEFICIT in society and how we can tackle the problem.
The three women who started the movement witnessed a young boy being hit by a car in Los Angeles and were struck by the fact that no one stopped to help. They did. This compelled them to look closely at the problems that stem from, what President Obama calls, ‘the empathy deficit.’
Apparently it’s an issue that’s even been studied by scientists who are concerned that we are experiencing the most rapidly declining rates of empathy in society in the past ten years.
It’s also costing us bucket loads. In the US, workplace bullying – experienced by about 49% of workers – costs a whopping $300 BILLION a year. And in Australia, the figure is about $36 billion. See, it pays to be nice!
It’s an issue that obviously struck a chord with Melbourne’s movers and shakers, because you could barely move in the White House on the night, with so many wanting to be there and show their support. People WANT to stop the empathy decline.
By making a movie and harnessing the power of social media, STAND IN MY SHOES hopes to restore the collective ’empathy chip’. The women say their movie is not just a film. It’s a ‘Global Empathy Moviement’ that will empower voices to advocate empathy – which they see as a transformative tool for social change.
They’ve garnered support from some huge names globally, too. There’s the TIME’S Most Influential Baby Boomer, Marianne Williamson, David Jones, CEO Havas Worldwide, Oprah’s OWN Network, media giant Arianna Huffington, neuroscientist Professor Bill Mobley and social entrepreneur advocate Bill Drayton.
Here’s a snapshot from the Melbourne event.
Oh, and each guest was given a goodie bag at the end of the night with a special gift – AND IN THE RIGHT SIZE – a pair of TOMS shoes. I LOVE my striped pair – SO comfy. Plus, every time you buy a pair of TOMS shoes, they donate a pair to a child in need. Bloody fabulous. You should get some. Find out how at http://www.toms.com
If you’d like to know more about the STAND IN MY SHOES movie project and how you can help, check out their website at http://www.standinmyshoes.com