In our busy lives & our Geographical Spread, it is often challenging to give and receive empathy when there is some kind of travel involved to get to a place to connect face to face.
the EMPATHY couch was dreamed up when we were at Discovery (www.discoveryforteens.co.nz) a few years ago, thinking how wonderful it could be to have a room with an extremely comfy couch where people could just come, sit and give and receive empathy. From then on, the idea has been evolving. Unfortunately we live in a very small place where the EMPATHY couch just wouldn’t fit – so until we find somewhere bigger, our EMPATHY couch is invisable to the naked eye, but not to the spirit in need of being heard. For now we are offering a skype & phone community service – (Koha based) – initially raising money for the couch, covering the internet/phone charges & then funding it going on the road.
We feel pretty excited about this prospect – imagining in the future turning up in a park somewhere – setting it up, the side table lamp, the rug, the box of tissues, perhaps tea and coffee … and just giving Empathy. The perhaps the couch will get a life of it’s own, “hey… can I borrow the couch this weekend …? ” Perhaps instead of Tony Hawkes hitchiking around Ireland with a Fridge – the EMPATHY couch might be spotted hitching around New Zealand! (or perhaps on it’s own trailer!)