Tapestry of Faith: The Wi$dom Path: An Adult Program on Money, Spirit, and Life

Activity 4: Spectrum Exercise

Part of The Wi$dom Path

Activity time: 25 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Review Leader Resource 4.
  • Clear an area where participants can move freely.

Description of Activity

Say that this activity will explore participants’ feelings and preferences on some themes related to money and wealth. Emphasize that the purposes of the activity are to reflect while having some fun and to get to know each other.

Explain that you will offer pairs of phrases. Indicate which end of the room participants should move to if they agree with the first phrase of the pair and which end for the second phrase. Say that participants can also place themselves along the continuum to represent a position that is somewhere in between.

Be careful to note that there is not one “good” place and one “bad” place in each continuum, but rather that people will find themselves in different places on the continuum, sometimes feeling that they belong somewhere near the middle. Also note that this continuum represents this moment in time, rather than an always-and-for-all-time assessment of their feelings and beliefs.

Read the pairs aloud and invite participants to place themselves along the continuum. Do not offer explanation of the meaning or intention of word pairs; instead, allow for personal interpretation. Reassure the participants that there are no wrong answers and that it is fine to be standing apart from the group.

Each time people arrange themselves in response to a prompt, take a moment to notice patterns and ask the group to do the same. Ask if anyone would like to say just a few words about their position and any challenges or surprises related to where they have placed, or found, themselves. For some statements, for example “I am rich/I am poor,” participants may need help unpacking what each means by the words.

To conclude the exercise, lift up the diversity of experience that has been revealed in the group. Note that this exercise can offer a kind of self-assessment tool, inviting them to reflect: “How can I apply what I just learned to help me live a better life?” Affirm the value of the different starting points for the future workshops and your work together.

Including All Participants

Adapt the space or the activity to accommodate participants who have limited mobility or difficulty standing for extended periods of time or who use assistive devices. Ensure the area for the exercise is clear and open to allow wheelchair access. You may invite a stationary participant to raise a hand or have a partner move by proxy to indicate where the participant wishes to place themselves. You can place chairs at intervals across the open space for participants to sit and rest.