The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.
— Albert Einstein
IN TODAY’S SESSION… We talked about curiosity, and we shared the story “Pandora’s Box.” We saw faith as one answer to the problems of the world, and we discussed different definitions for “faith.” We heard about the seven deadly sins and the seven heavenly virtues, and we made our own list of common sixth-grade sins.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about…
- The situation your group did in Ethics Play (if your group played that game). What do family members and friends say the Star should have done?
- How important is religion to your family? Do you spend a lot of time with the members of your congregation? Do you participate in congregational activities during the week?
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try…
- Reading a news story about a youth who got in trouble. Ask: How does our family try to avoid problems like that? How would we handle it if somebody in the family made a serious mistake?
- Seeing a movie together. Have each person look for ethical decisions in the film. What was the hardest decision any character had to make? Did the character make a good decision?
MYSTERY AND ME
Take some personal quiet time and think about the answer to this question: Do you have your own faith? Think of faith as your own important beliefs, your own ideas about all the big questions, like what is virtuous and what is sinful. Having faith does not mean you have all the answers. It does mean you have some good ideas that help you understand life, how you want to live it, and what is meaningful in it.
Having faith also does not mean you will not change your mind. As Unitarian Universalists, we believe that faith will deepen, grow, and change throughout our lives because of the new experiences, new people, and new ideas we are constantly encountering.
If you are journaling Mystery and Me, write down some of your beliefs and their source or sources (what causes you to believe as you do). If some of your beliefs have changed over time, note that, too.
A FAMILY RITUAL
Talk each day about the right and wrong you have experienced. Find a regular time if you can, when everybody is together. Did you each do something good you want to share? Is there somebody in the family you want to thank for a virtuous act? Or is there something you wish you hadn’t done that you need to talk about? How can you make tomorrow a better day?
A FAMILY GAME
Curiosity Continuum. Decide who the most curious members of your family are. Gather in the same room. Say that one wall stands for “very curious” and the opposite wall stands for “not very curious.” Have everybody at once go stand in a line between the two walls, wherever they think is right for their own level of curiosity. Does everybody agree that the order is right? Is it okay if you disagree? Let family members each talk about how curiosity has sometimes helped and sometimes hurt them.
Talk about where your family beliefs come from. Did your great-grandparents have the same religious beliefs your family has today? Does everybody in your family have the same important beliefs, the same faith? If not, can you help one another understand things better by sharing your ideas with them?