Creator Spotlight: Marilyn Levin- Touch Someone Who...

This activity enables people to express appreciations, increasing connections and sense of respect and caring within a group of people. PREP Decide ahead of time how many people at a time you will bring into the middle to do the touching and how many statements you will read for each round, based on the size of your group and how much time you have. For example, a group of twenty participants can be divided into four rounds, with five different people “touching” for each round. An easy way to divide a group of people into four groups is to hand out playing cards and then call clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades to stand up for each round. Consider the following themes and then select the statements that will resonate the most with your particular group.  The following are two Possible Activity Introductions to read to your group prior to beginning. Appreciation Focus: We are now going to engage in an activity that will strengthen your skills in the art of appreciation and acknowledgement. In a culture that gives us extensive training in judgment and criticism, it can change our lives to focus instead on building skills to empower ourselves as well as others. We will almost always have more success when we praise, encourage and inspire others toward their greatness as opposed to criticizing or admonishing them for their shortcomings. During “Touch Someone Who” please relax and remain open to all of the feelings the activity brings up for you. Social Justice Focus: We are now going to engage in an activity that will strengthen your skills in the art of appreciation and acknowledgement, one of the most powerful tools that exist, for social transformation. We will almost always have more success when we praise, encourage and inspire others toward their greatness as opposed to criticizing or admonishing them for their shortcomings. Our cultural bias of overvaluing emotional control and undervaluing emotional flow can block us from healing fully from feelings of rage and broken heartedness attached to injustices in the world. This effort to suppress and deny our deepest sorrows ends up blocking our deepest joys and passions and connections to other human beings. During “Touch Someone Who” please relax and remain open to all of the feelings the activity brings up for you. Let yourself be inspired, let yourself be moved, let yourself be open to the courage, the perseverance, and the love that human beings demonstrate in the face of unfathomable challenges. PLAY Start the activity by having participants sit in a circle. Once the activity begins everyone will close their eyes remaining silent. The only exception to this is that participants need to have their eyes open when being selected as a “toucher” for the next round of “Touch Someone”. When called upon to come to the middle of the circle, their job is to listen to the statement being read and touch those people sitting in the circle who come to mind. In other words, the person will touch all those people for whom the statement applies. During each round, those seated in the circle (i.e.“receivers”) are asked to keep their eyes closed, refrain from making sounds, and notice what it feels like to be touched. Begin the activity with everyone sitting with his or her eyes closed. The facilitator states that he/she will touch some people now and when they are touched they should come to the middle of the circle. Remind everyone that if they are not touched right now to keep their eyes closed and remain seated and quiet. Then read off a statement saying: “Touch someone who...” and fill in the statement “is a good role model.” See the attached list of example statements. Allow time for people in the middle to touch a number of people, and then move to the next statement. After the round has been completed, ask those participants who just provided the touching to return to their seats and close their eyes. Remind others sitting in a circle to keep their eyes closed as well. Then repeat the process by selecting a new group of people to do the touching until all participants have had a chance to be in the middle. TOUCH SOMEONE WHO - EXAMPLE STATEMENTS: FIRST ROUND: "Touch someone who... Makes a difference Is a good role model Has affected your life Makes you feel special You really admire You believe in Has a good personality Cares about people You trust Is kind hearted You will never forget ​Is love in action" SECOND ROUND: "Touch someone who... Helps you grow Lets their soul guide their actions Is open minded Helps you out a lot Shows you how fabulous you are Is a hero or shero of yours Makes good decisions Is excellent at their work You would pick to get stuck on a desert island with Is fun to be around Is a good mentor Is helpful and supportive" THIRD ROUND: "Touch someone who... Helps you see your strength and abilities Will support you in the future Believes in you Has a great attitude Shows that you are fabulous Makes you laugh You think is fabulous Is respectful Is beautiful inside and out Makes you feel valued You want to get to know more Is a brilliant thinker" FOURTH ROUND: "Touch someone who... Gives you warm fuzzies Makes a big difference in their community or organization You seek out when you are vulnerable Sees how good you are Is good at reaching out Has a beautiful smile You will never forget Makes you smile You would love to get closer to Is inspiring Is a good friend Is creative" ​FIFTH ROUND: "Touch someone who... Is a catalyst for growth in others Is friendly Is thoughtful Has touched your heart Pleasantly surprised you Treats people with respect Makes a difference Has taught you something valuable Shows how likeable you are Thinks you are awesome Sees your talents Thinks you are a good listener" SIXTH ROUND: "Touch someone who... Has learned something from you Sees your beauty inside and out Is a good leader You will never forget You really admire Is very creative Makes you feel loved Believes in you Reaches out to you Supports you well Sees you as a good friend Sees your talents" SEVENTH ROUND: "Touch someone who... Treats you with respect Makes a difference Is a good listener Gets things done Is caring Supports people well You want to keep as a new friend Lives to serve Knows how to make you laugh Helped you out recently You think is fun You would completely trust" EIGHTH ROUND: "Touch someone who... Makes good decisions Who honors their commitments Is an amazing ally Has shown courage in the face of a challenge Is compassionate Gives you hope Humorous ones to use if appropriate: Is having a good hair day Would cover for you if you passed gas in a meeting Would tell you if there was something in your teeth or up your nose" Add your own, anything appropriate or unique to the group and setting! LEARN The following are possible questions to raise during the processing of this activity: Reflect: How did that feel for everyone? What was it like? What emotions came up for you? Was anyone surprised by some of the touches they got? Connect: What do you think about the importance of appreciations? Were you a bit more likely to believe the touches were sincere since you couldn’t see the person doing the touching? Grow: What are ways we could create more appreciation in our lives? In this activity, it is very common for participants to be surprised about the statements for which they were touched. The truth is that everyone is really this amazing and worthy of such feedback. Unfortunately we live in a culture that has us forgetting to show how much we care about each other and how impressed we are with each other. If we learn how to show this care, we can increase our power, our possibilities and our connections to others. In this activity we are demonstrating one of the most important aspects of humanity, the power of touch. How we can convey just what needs to be conveyed with a hand on a shoulder, or briefly touching the hand of another, or gently grabbing their elbow... such motions can convey SO much, just through a simple touch, we can do so much good. After large group processing takes place, this activity works well when participants pair up to do a Listening Partnership. Each person would get several minutes to respond to the following statement: “The amazing truth about me and my power to transform the world is...encourage people to sound as much like Gandhi, Mother Teresa or any of their heroes as possible.” Remind participants that the world needs us in touch with our magnificence and unafraid to use it in order to make the world a better place! Click here to SEE THIS ACTIVITY WITHIN THE KIKORI APP TODAY! ​This version created by Marilyn Levin, https://www.marilynlevin.com with contributions from Brian T. Ivory, Ph.D, bivory@mcc.edu.  If you have more information regarding the source of this activity, please email us at info@kikoriapp.com, and we will update! 


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