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Activity 1: Story - Building a Beacon

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the story and prepare to share it with the group.
  • Review the discussion questions and choose those that will best help the children share their interpretations of the story and relate it to their own lives.

Description of Activity

Read or tell the story to the group.

After the story, invite the group to be silent for a moment to think about the story.

Then, ask participants to recap the story in their own words. What they recall indicates what they found most meaningful or memorable.

Say something like:

One of the most valuable things we can learn as human beings and as Unitarian Universalists is the desire and readiness to help others. But it's important that we listen carefully to learn what the people we want to help really need and want, and how we can help them reach their own goals. It's much easier to think we know what someone else needs, and just do it and expect them to be grateful. But really being of service in the world starts with listening, so we can move into partnership relationships with the people we hope to help.

Lead a discussion using these questions:

  • Has anyone ever tried to help you, without finding out what you really wanted or needed first? How did it feel?
  • Have you ever felt like someone was really, truly listening to you? How did that feel?
  • What are some situations in which it's more important to listen than to be heard?
  • When you are really listening intently to a friend, rather than focusing on what you want to say next, what do you do?

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