Activity time: 30 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Low-stick masking tape
- Leader Resource 2: Loving Involves Commitment
- Newsprint sheet with list of skills (see Preparation)
Preparation for Activity
- List the following skills on a sheet of newsprint, leaving space to add more items:
- Growing together (evolving possibilities)
- Focusing on self-responsibility and responsibility to each other
- Moving beyond obstacles
- Valuing each other (not taking each other for granted)
- Managing changes (expected and unexpected)
- Inspiring positive behaviors
- Review the passage in Leader Resource 2, Loving Involves Commitment, and be prepared to read it aloud to the group.
Description of Activity
Ask participants to recall how they felt during the workshop opening's guided meditation, when they imagined themselves expressing their commitment to their partner. Invite volunteers to call out one word or phrase that describes how that experience made them feel. Quickly list the responses on a sheet of newsprint. No discussion is necessary. When a variety of words and phrases have been listed, post the sheet on the wall.
Share the reading "Loving Involves Commitment" by Carter Heyward (Leader Resource 2).
Invite participants to respond to the reading. Ask:
Does the phrase "love is a choice" resonate with your experience of love? How are our personal love relationships related to commitments we make for justice in the world? Is commitment to a cause different in its essence or importance from commitment to a loving partner? If so, how? Do you have other ways of understanding love and commitment? If so, what are they?
Explain that in long-term relationships, commitment can be seen as a "founding value" because it helps both partners feel safe and supported. Ask:
For what reasons has commitment between partners been important to you?
After participants have generated their ideas, display the list you prepared ahead of time:
Growing together (evolving possibilities) Focusing on self-responsibility and responsibility to each other Moving beyond obstacles Valuing each other (not taking each other for granted) Managing changes (expected and unexpected) Inspiring positive behaviors
Explain that these six skills can be nurtured through partners' mutual commitment. If similar ideas have already been identified by participants, point out correlations. Invite participants to add other skills to the list.