Heaven and hell suppose two distinct species of men, the good and the bad. But the greatest part of mankind float betwixt vice and virtue.
— David Hume
IN TODAY’S SESSION…We had a competition to see which groups could come up with the most virtue and sin words. We heard the story of “Amazing Grace,” and then another story about a student who refused to steal. That led to a talk about conscience. We thought about the Golden Rule, an idea that many religions share. We played Wall-to-Wall Questions.
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?
- Food and your family. Ask, Do we connect food to the idea of virtue and sin? Do we think some foods are better to eat than others? Why? Are we vegetarian? Vegan? What considerations factor into our family’s dietary decisions? What do we think about other people with different ideas?
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try…
- Applying the Golden Rule the next time you disagree. Take time to stop defending your position and to think instead of how the other person feels. Can you see the disagreement from their point of view? Talk about the results. Can the Golden Rule help solve arguments?
- Analyzing the way you make decisions about right and wrong. Ask, Do I try to decide what really is right and what really is wrong? Or do I decide what I want to do first and then try to convince myself that this must be the right thing?
MYSTERY AND ME
Take some personal quiet time and think about a person you do not understand. It might be a member of your family or a classmate from school. How could a person be like that, or think like that? Is that a mystery? Why are you you, and why are other people who they are? Is that a mystery, too? If you are journaling, write a paragraph or two saying who you really are deep inside. See if you can discover something new about yourself as you write.
A FAMILY RITUAL
Talk each day about the right and wrong you have experienced. 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
Try actually wearing one another’s shoes. How does this feel? Does it really help you think about what it might mean to be living the other person’s life? To be that person? Whose shoes are you most comfortable wearing?
Discover something that you disagree about. Do some family members think it is good and others think it is bad? Is that because of what the thing is? Or is it because of who the people are? Can you find some way to agree about it? Do families always have to agree about everything? Can they?