Find Out More
On the Character Counts website, published by the Josephson Institute of Ethics, find lesson plans and a cause-and-effect game.
Versions of the Burmese and Thai folk tale on which the story, "It's Not My Problem," is based appear in many books:
"Not Our Problem" in Margaret Read Macdonald's Peace Tales: World Folktales to Talk About (Linnet Books, 1992).
A Kingdom Lost for a Drop of Honey and Other Burmese Folktales by Maung Htin Aung and Helen G. Trager (Parents Magazine Press, 1968).
"The Drop of Honey," in Doorways to the Soul, edited by Elisa Pearmain (Pilgrim Press, 1998).
The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories by William Bennett, Jr. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993) includes a true story—similar in theme to the story, "It's Not My Problem"—in which England's King Richard III loses his kingdom because he would not wait to have his horse properly shod.
Other stories that illuminate responsibility and promote taking action to make a difference include "The Grasshopper and the Ant," an Aesop's Fable in many children's story collections; "The Little Red Hen," in many children's story collections; Why the Sky is Far Away: A Folktale from Nigeria by Mary-Joan Gerson (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974); and Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney (New York: Viking Press, 1982), the story of how one woman planted lupine seeds and made the world a more beautiful place.
Small Steps for Children to Take
The Giraffe Project's motto is "Nobis Es. It's up to us, so stick your neck out." Online, watch a video and read about some "giraffes"—people of all ages who stuck their necks out.
The Kids Caring 4 Kids Project website describes young people's efforts to help other children who are AIDS orphans.
Earth Book for Kids: Activities to Help Heal the Environment by Linda Schwartz (Learning Works, 1990); What Can I Do? An Alphabet for Living by Lisa Harrow (White River Junction, Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2004); and 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth by The EarthWorks Group (LLC Andrews McMeel Publishing, 1990) are some of many resource books that include specific environmental actions children, and families, can do.