Empathy Intervention – Paige Lowell

This past week I have been spending a lot of time thinking about my actions and how I could truly implement empathy in ways I hadn’t before. I am currently on the cheer team here at Cal Poly, and being on a cheer team for the past 8 years has taught me a lot about teamwork. Cheerleading is truly a team sport. The actions of one teammate affects the entire team. In cheerleading you learn firsthand the ripple effects of one member’s actions. Additionally, cheerleading takes a lot of trust. As a flyer, I have to trust that my bases will not let me drop onto the floor, and my bases have to trust that I will stay as tight as I can to make sure the stunt stays in the air. With that being said, this past week at one of our practices I could tell one of my bases was not 100% committed to the practice, the team or the stunt. As a flyer this made me extremely irritated because I essentially put my life into these girls’ hands everyday. I did not want to get dropped or fly on top of somebody that was not trying. So, for the majority of the practice, her mood changed the aspect of the team’s mood and practice was extremely unproductive. However, after practice I thought about the situation more and it made me realize that there was obviously something that made my base be in a sad/bad mood. I don’t know everything that was happening in her life at that time, and I now see that there could be a limitless amount of reasons of why she was acting the way she was. My eyes were really opened through this process as I have learned that we should not be so quick to judge on our feet and really think about life in other people’s shoes.

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