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Taking It Home, Session 13: Bad Guys, Good Guys

In "Amazing Grace," a Tapestry of Faith program

The great hope of society is individual character.

— William Ellery Channing

IN TODAY’S SESSION… We shared a Cherokee story and thought about the good and bad wolves inside us all. We gave some up-and-down answers to ten questions, and made some puzzles showing bad and good personal characteristics. We did Ethics Play, and for Faith in Action, we decided how to feed our good environmental wolves. 

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about…

  • The Cherokee legend. Does your family agree with the idea that everybody has two inner wolves, one bad and one good? How do you feed the good wolves in your family?
  • Emotions. Families show their emotions in different ways. Some families seem to “wear their emotions on their sleeves.” Everybody in the family knows what everybody else is feeling just about all the time. When such families are having fun, they may laugh a lot. When they disagree, they may be loud about it. Other families are more “reserved.” People keep their feelings to themselves. What about your family? Is it one of these types or is it somewhere in between?
  • Bad guys and good guys. Are people basically good or bad? Are they sinners at birth? Do they try to be the best people they can be? What do the members of your family think?

EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try…

  • Naming your own inner animals. Maybe you do not think you have two wolves inside you. What other names could you use for your bad and good parts?
  • Feeding your good environmental wolf. Talk about what you did for Faith in Action. Did you find ways you think your family should feed your good environmental wolf? Share them with your family. What do other family members think?
  • Naming some terrific people you know. Most families know some really wonderful people who almost always do and say the right things and who are great to have around. Make a family list of those people. Do not start talking about the reasons some other people do not get on the list. Concentrate on the ones who do, and be glad they are in your lives.

MYSTERY AND ME

Think about your character. What parts do you like best? What parts would you like to build? Is part of your character a mystery, even to you? (If you ever say, “I don’t know why I did something,” that may be a clue about something you do not understand.) If you are journaling, write your ideas about that part. Say how you can figure out the mystery. 

A FAMILY RITUAL

Talk each day about the right and wrong you have experienced. Did you each do something good you want to share? Is there somebody in the family you want to thank for a virtuous act? Is there something you wish you had not done that you need to talk about? How can you make tomorrow a better day?

A FAMILY GAME

Play emotional freeze. Someday, when you are having a really good time with your family, freeze a picture of it in your mind. Do not spoil the time by interrupting it and talking about it. But do talk about it later. Remember how the enjoyment started so you can repeat it at another time. 

FAMILY DISCOVERY

Find out how to feed each other’s good emotional wolves. How can you help one another to be the best people you can be? Find some ways to help one another do their best.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.

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