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Taking It Home, Session 8: Do unto Others

In "Moral Tales," a Tapestry of Faith program

This is the sum of all true righteousness —

Treat others, as thou wouldst thyself be treated.

Do nothing to thy neighbor, which hereafter

Thou wouldst not have thy neighbor do to thee.

— The Mahabharata

IN TODAY'S SESSION...

We heard the story, "The Good Samaritan." We talked about the fact that everyone is our neighbor. Children explored the idea that when someone else needs help, we should treat them the way we would want to be treated. We played a game that involved helping each other, we role-played some situations in which we or someone else might need help, and we made a "Who Is My Neighbor?" collage.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER.

Let your child retell the story of the good Samaritan for the family at meal time. Share stories about times when you or other family members have been helped by or have helped strangers or people they didn't know, or even people toward whom they felt enmity.

EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. TRY...

thinking together about people in your community to whom you could extend a kindness. Make a list of people who are new or whom you don't know that well who might appreciate a kind word or gesture of welcome, or someone who might appreciate an offer of help with shopping, raking or another necessary task. Decide on one person or family to help. Keep it simple and a one-time plan. Remember that an important part of this activity is to experience the joy of giving and caring. It is its own reward!

After you have done a kindness together with your child, talk about it and how it felt. Do not focus on how it felt to receive praise or thanks for your help. Focus on simply how it felt to do the kindness.

If your child has brought home a "Good Neighbor Coupon" help him/her decide whom they might give it to.

A FAMILY RITUAL

At dinner, begin a practice of sharing one act of kindness that family members did or received, in an interaction with a stranger or someone who is not a close friend or family member. Keep the focus on how it felt to do or receive a kindness, rather than on praise or other rewards involved.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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