On Imagining a New Self (& Breaking Free of Stereotypes)

Guest post by Hearts on Fire, an organization that focuses on showcasing some of the most inspirational and committed individuals working to change the world for the better. It was launched following the release of the nonfiction book Hearts on Fire: Stories of Today’s Visionaries Igniting Idealism into Action by Jill Iscol, Ed.D and Peter Cookson.

During gameplay, killin.tang proposed how the FeelThat network could help men express their feelings and push back against the standard definition of masculinity, one with a cold and stoic demeanor.

POSITIVE IMAGINATION: Men can have a way to express their feelings, and it will break down the barriers of men bring a cold stone warrior without emotions. #as132

This insight highlights the rigidity of gender norms in our society. What identities do you possess that might influence how others see you? How does that affect the way you present yourself to the world? It is well-documented that our behavior and choices are often rooted in how we believe others perceive us.

By thinking more critically about our own identities as well as others’, and the way they influence perceptions and behaviors, we can begin to apply empathy and Face the Future together. We can share our stories to light a spark of good in the world and make a difference in the lives of others who might be facing similar challenges.

We hope the Hearts on Fire Teachers Guide (developed in partnership with Facing History and Ourselves) will help students explore their own stories and identities and ignite them to take that first step in their journey to making the world a better place for all.