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Activity 4: Stories - Hide-and-Go-Seek and Know Yourself

Activity time: 14 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the stories.
  • Photocopy Stories 1, "Hide-and-Go-Seek," and 2, "Know Yourself," one for each participant.

Description of Activity

Share two stories about conscience.

Announce that today you will be sharing two very short stories instead of a single longer one. Tell or read "Hide-and-Go-Seek," a wonderfully succinct way to express the mystery of God's possible presence. Alternately, you might ask for one or more volunteers to read it.

Ask youth for their reactions. Note that people often mean different things when they use the word "God." In fact, some people might want to use words other than "God" in this story. How would youth feel about the story if the word "wisdom" replaced the word "God"? What about "love" or "mystery"? Can they suggest other terms? Ask also if ideas about God, wisdom, love, and mystery are spiritual ideas. In other words, do they help us understand our connections with our inner selves, with others, and with the universe?

Tell or read the story "Know Yourself." Alternately, you might ask for one or more volunteers to read it. Explain that the opening words are a traditional opening for Muslim stories. Another common translation of it is: "Once there was and twice there wasn't.... " The opening means that the story is simply a story, not a historical report.

Ask for youth reactions. Do they think the generous man was a spiritual man? Was his conscience strong? What do they think the Guru in the play from Activity 1 would have thought of this man-that he was good, or foolish?

Ask also if stories like these can help people develop their spirituality. What about their understanding of soul and conscience, of right and wrong?

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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