Activity 3: Story and Discussion - Narcissus
Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Story 1, "Narcissus"
Preparation for Activity
- Read the story.
- Photocopy Story 1, "Narcissus," one for each participant.
Description of Activity
Preface this activity by pointing out the narcissus (real or photographed) in your Conundrum Corner. Ask the youth why they think it is there. You might need to name the flower for them. Accept a few guesses and then provide your own answer by reading the story. Alternately, you might ask for one or more volunteers to read it.
Explain that the story is a Greek myth. Say that there are many different versions of it. In some of them, Narcissus accidentally drowns. In others, he kills himself because he feels badly about how he treated Echo. All the stories agree that Narcissus loved himself too much and that the narcissus flower appeared in the place where his body should have been.
Lead a discussion that introduces the concept of healthy self-love. Offer ideas and questions like these:
- The story says you should not love yourself too much. Does that mean you should hate yourself?
- Is it okay to look in the mirror and like the person you see?
- Do you attend a school or belong to an organization that talks about self-respect and self-esteem?
- Can you be a good person without self-respect or self-esteem?
- How much self-respect is healthy? (You might say that Narcissus respected himself to death.)
- How do you know when a person is self-centered?
- What are some other words for that? (egotistical, egocentric, selfish)
- Is having integrity a way to have self-respect? (In Session 14: Doing Your Good Side, integrity is defined as being true to yourself by living up to your own values.)
- Can you possibly have self-respect if you ignore your own principles?
- What can you do when somebody acts too self-centered?
- What can you do when people have no self-respect and are "down on themselves"?
You might conclude the activity by remarking that developing healthy self-respect is a challenge for some people. One way to do it is to do good things that help others. Often people who do wrong instead of right things regret it later, and then they do not feel good about themselves. You might also share a quote widely (but perhaps incorrectly) attributed to Abraham Lincoln: "When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion."
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