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Alternate Activity 1: Choices and Values

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Paper and pens/pencils for all participants

Description of Activity

Distribute paper and pens/pencils. Invite participants to list all the choices they have made in the past few days. Ask them to include all choices from the simple ("What shirt will I wear?") to the complex ("What approach will I take with a family member whose behavior is a problem for me?"). Allow about five minutes.

Next, invite participants to cross off any choices they have made which are neutral-in other words, no particular decision or course of action is better than another.

Now, invite participants to cross off any items remaining on the list for which the choice was primarily based on efficacy-in other words, a particular decision or course of action fulfills a practical goal or purpose better than another.

Ask participants to reflect on the items which remain, using these questions:

  • Which choices are between or among values you hold?
  • Do any represent a choice between the most practical or effective decision and the one that most closely represents personal values?
  • Are any choices about what or whom you most trust? How so?

Invite participants to share with a partner one of the decisions on their lists, explaining the way in which values and beliefs impacted the decision. After three minutes, remind pairs to switch speakers. After six minutes, invite pairs to rejoin the large group.

Lead a discussion about the exercise. Did participants discover anything surprising in creating and exploring their lists? Did they become aware of times when values, either implied or explicit, influenced their decision making?

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