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Activity 2: Personal Experiences of Earning Money

Activity 2: Personal Experiences of Earning Money
Activity 2: Personal Experiences of Earning Money

Activity time: 35 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Paper and pens
  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Optional: Talking stick (an object to pass to each speaker)

Preparation for Activity

  • Set aside some time to recall the personal money stories participants have shared during this program. Review any notes you have. You can simply pause to hold each participant in thought and/or prayer as you prepare to move deeper into their stories.
  • Write the following questions on newsprint, and post:
    • What was the hardest-earned money of your life?
    • What was the easiest?
    • In what working experience or period of life was your work made more meaningful or intense because of the importance of your paycheck?
    • Was there a time when you did work where the money mattered very little? What characterized that job or what about you made it so exceptional?
  • Write the following quotation on newsprint but do not post:
    • Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell your life what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let your life tell you what truths you embody, what values you represent.  — Parker J. Palmer

Description of Activity

Say that you will take the group deeper into the territory they entered with the preparation and sharing of their money autobiographies. Say that now they will focus on the aspects of their stories that have to do with working. Distribute paper and pens as needed, and invite participants to take a few minutes to reflect on their experience of earning money and to make some notes. Call attention to the questions you have posted and encourage use of these to guide personal reflection.

Mention that the notes they have just made may be useful in future workshops of The Wi$dom Path and suggest they bring the notes to future meetings.

After five minutes, invite participants to move into groups of three and to share some of their reflections as they are comfortable. Allow about ten minutes for sharing.

Regather the large group and post the quote from Parker J. Palmer’s book Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation. Read it aloud. Invite participants to respond in writing to Parker Palmer’s words. Ask:

What does your story of money earning tell you about what truths you embody and what values you represent?

Allow another five minutes for participants to reflect and make some notes.

Then invite participants to return to their groups of three and share their thoughts about the truths and values reflected in the work part of their money story. After ten minutes, regather the large group and ask for comments and reflections. Ask:

What did your group’s stories have in common? Where did they differ?

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