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The great hope of society is individual character.

— William Ellery Channing

This session is the first of four that focuses on ethical development, using the Cherokee story of the two wolves inside us to ask whether people are basically bad or good. The session continues with a series of up-and-down questions that introduce the concept of character and then ask youth to talk about building good character. The Ethics Play activity asks youth to practice making ethical decisions. The Faith in Action segment asks youth to nurture their better "environmental wolf."


This session will:

  • Ask participants to consider whether humans are basically bad or good, sinful or virtuous
  • Explore the ethics of character development
  • Examine environmentalism as an ethical choice.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Hear a story about the bad and good in everybody
  • Consider whether bad thoughts are damaging to a person's character
  • Differentiate between bad and good character
  • Practice making ethical decisions
  • Optional: Consider the ethics of environmental choices
  • Optional: Discuss the implications of psychological and physiological brain differences for ethical decision-making
  • Optional: Hear a story about putting beliefs into action

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