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Introduction, Session 15: Courage and Perseverance

In "Moral Tales," a Tapestry of Faith program

God has not called on me to be successful. He has called on me to be faithful. — Mother Teresa

This session emphasizes the virtues of courage and perseverance. To act out of goodness and for justice often requires courage, determination and the will to keep going despite many challenges.

In this session we will hear a Jakata story from the Buddhist tradition about a parrot that carries drops of water in its feathers back and forth from the river in order to save the animals of a burning forest. The Devas (the Gods) initially laugh at what they think is a fruitless effort, but later one Deva is moved by the love and courage of the little parrot. The Deva's tears add to the parrot's drops and the fire is extinguished. We too may act alone, and against all odds, but when we are compelled by conscience and love, our continued efforts can catch the attention of others and cause something greater to happen spiritually and in the world.

In our culture of "everything now," our children need more than ever to learn the value of perseverance when most products and information can now be had with the press of a button or the exchange of money, and there are fewer opportunities to work hard for something. Yet, perseverance is one important key to success in utilizing all other virtues. As Unitarian Universalists we seek to bring our faith to action. Helping our young people gain the skills and confidence to persist for what they believe in will help them to become leaders and people of moral action.

In this session the children will also hear stories about everyday people, children and adults, who have persisted against great odds for what they believed. They will do an art activity inspired by these stories. The Faith in Action project offers the children a chance to emulate the brave little parrot with an effort to gather coins, one by one, to fill a jar and donate the funds for a cause of their choosing. The activities in this session also inspire us to understand the Unitarian Universalist Principles, particularly the inherent worth and dignity of every person and respect for the interdependent web of all existence. "Perseverance" will be added to the Moral Compass poster.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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