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Activity 2: Story - The Honorable Joha, Mula Nasruddin Hodja, and the Famous Donkey Story

Activity time: 7 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the story.
  • Photocopy Story 1, "The Honorable Joha, Mula Nasruddin Hodja, and the Famous Donkey Story," one for each participant.

Description of Activity

Youth hear and react to a story about trying to please everyone.

Read or tell the story "The Honorable Joha, Mula Nasruddin Hodja, and the Famous Donkey Story."

Ask for reactions. Then lead a discussion by posing a few questions:

  • What caused the problems for the father, son, and donkey? (They tried to please other people.)
  • Is there a difference between "peer pressure" and the situation in the story? (Yes. "Peer pressure" usually refers to kids trying to get other kids the same age to do something. However, the idea is the same. The man and boy kept doing what other people said to do instead of what they thought was right.)
  • Why do people give in to peer pressure? (It can happen to adults as well as kids. Some people give in because they want to please the other people and want people to like them. Sometimes people are not sure what is right, so they do what others say to avoid making a decision.)
  • Whose fault is it when somebody does something wrong because she/he gave in to peer pressure? Is it the fault of the person who gives in, the peers, or both?
  • Are people showing their best side when they make decisions by trying to please others?
  • Why do peers try to get other people to do what they want?
  • Have participants ever gotten into trouble by giving in to peer pressure? How can they avoid it?
  • Do people who always try to do what others want them to do have integrity? (No. Integrity means doing what you yourself know is best.)

Point out, if participants have not, that peer pressure and advice from other people are not always wrong. Sometimes your friends are right about what you should do. If you accept what they tell you, you should do it because you think they are right, not because you will do anything they say in order to please them.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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