One of the most effective ways to build empathy for people outside your immediate circles is to learn about and interact with people who are different from you in race, class, culture, and who hold different religious or political beliefs. At Making Caring Common, we call this expanding your "circle of concern."
This first post in our "Circles of Concern" series is based on a story that caught our attention on Storycorps, and tells the story of Chris and Gabe López in Tucson, Arizona. Gabe, a transgender boy, recounts the story of coming out to his mother as transgender, his feeling of comfort in her acceptance, and the joy of finding new friends at summer camp. Listen to the audio story below, and click here for the full piece on the Storycorps website.
Now that you've listened to the piece, here are some questions to consider, either on your own or with your children:
- What elements of this story did you identify with? The relationship between parent and child, perhaps, or telling a parent something difficult?
- What did you learn from this story?
- How do you think it felt for Gabe and his mom to have this conversation? How might you have felt if you were Gabe or one of Gabe's parents?
- Was there anything about this story that was difficult for you or made you uncomfortable? What was it and why do you think you had that reaction?
- What would be valuable about sharing this story with your family or friends? What might be difficult about sharing it?