Goal 3 – Inspire Actions
A. Challenges that undermine Engagement
Societies are deeply impacted when individuals lack the desire for meaningful social engagement with people they see as different from them.
- The Reality of Disengagement: People deciding not to actively participate in civic life is all-pervasive across Western societies. Disengagement is defined as the process of withdrawing from involvement in an activity, situation, or group and is directly linked to apathy. Apathy is a state of indifference to negative as well as positive emotions such as concern or excitement. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest in life and the world outside of the self and may lack a sense of purpose or worth.
- The Nature of Social Change: It is imperative that we support each other to engage with our individual, relationship and social lives and contexts. As we flourish and engage with one another, we are more likely to actively engage in our communities and the world. Social change begins with individual change and engagement. But how can we do that individually? The reality is that we get easily discouraged and disillusioned when we are on our own.
B. Engagement to Inspire Actions
Apathy is not only a form of withdrawal from society, but also a disengagement with life itself. This means that as we strengthen individuals to engage with the world we also strengthen their capacity to feel alive again. Engagement has empowering effects for all three levels: individuals, communities and society.
Psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman identifies engagement as one of the five key elements for a “flourishing life”. Engagement with life can lead to positive relationships, meaning, accomplishments, and positive emotions. Supporting individuals to grow their personal strength and dedicate to a meaningful task is a direct and practical way of supporting them to feel alive again.
- Focus on Wellbeing: Training life skills, mindfulness and individual/community wellbeing through nurturing peer relationships.
- Honest Dialogue: Strengthening dialogue, listening, conflict mediation skills and emotional intelligence through honest and constructive group processes.
- Peer Group Activities: Enhancing peer-to-peer interactions around topics of social issues by using inspiring resources around film.