We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. — Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This session introduces the second Principle, all people should be treated fairly, and through this teach what it means to forgive. Kindergarten and first grade children will have experienced some form of forgiveness, either in the forgiving or being forgiven when they have said or heard, "I'm sorry." In Hebrew scripture, the story of Joseph tells of family forgiveness that takes time. Forgiveness is seen as difficult and much needed in family life.
Participants may share stories about conflicts that have a "winner" and a "loser" and/or lack forgiveness. If you have the opportunity, note that treating people fairly does necessarily mean treating everyone the same. Emphasize that fairness is important but treating everyone exactly the same does not always make things fair, and is often not possible. Help children understand that while it is possible to spend one's entire life focused on unfairness, a healthier alternative is to acknowledge unfairness, model fairness, then forgive and move on.
This session will:
- Identify words and phrases around forgiveness
- Introduce the Unitarian Universalist idea that we believe all people should be treated fairly (second Principle)
- Discover the joy in using the words, "I forgive you."
- Explore how love and forgiveness connect us, through a sewing project
- Experience a story of forgiveness drawn from Genesis 43:16-46:7 in Hebrew scripture
- Practice using the words of forgiveness "you are forgiven" and "I forgive you," in a game.