Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Copies of Singing the Living Tradition, the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook
- Drawing paper and color pencils, markers or pastels
- Writing paper and pencils
Preparation for Activity
- Decide how best to present the song "This Little Light of Mine," Hymn 118 in Singing the Living Tradition- the group is likely familiar with it.
Description of Activity
Use the song "This Little Light of Mine" to inspire youth to consider their own inner "lights" and how those lights can help them decide what to do with their lives. Then have participants create a simple drawing or poem to show either "their light" or some problem they are going to use their light to help solve.
Announce that it is WIT Time, when each participant says "What I Think". First, introduce "This Little Light of Mine" and ask the group to think about the words. Tell the group the song suggests we all have special lights that come from within us which we can let shine to light and help the world. Say in your own words:
What is your own special light? Thinking about how your own "little light" can help you decide what you should do with your life.
Knowing ourselves is an important part of making good decisions. If you are a good group leader now, it makes sense for you to be a leader later in life. If you are really great working with animals, you might consider school and career choices that involve animals. It makes sense to use any special talents and interests we find in ourselves, throughout our lives.
Point out that some people know their special talents early in life. Maybe they are naturally good artists or athletes or feel a calling to do something that is so strong that they know they must pursue it, study it, get better at it and share it with others. Some people discover talents later in life. But everybody has something good to share with the world, something they can begin using right now, just as the song suggests.
Invite the youth to create either a drawing or a poem about their own special light or about some problem they want to shine their light on to help solve, now or in the years ahead. Encourage them to use the idea of their own "little light" to think about today's Big Question-"What should I do with my life?" Assure them that they are not expected to know now what they will do with the rest of their lives. Maybe they will become important teachers or engineers or poets or doctors. Maybe they will make contributions that the world has not yet imagined. This is a wonderful time to explore the future, not to make final decisions about it.
As Unitarian Universalists, we feel that everyone has a responsibility to help improve the world. Their "little light," whatever it turns out to be, will help.
Including All Participants
Youth this age may be unaware of their particular gifts or self-conscious about naming their own "little light" and letting it shine. Make sure youth understand they need not identify a special light or strength. Instead, they can write or draw about a problem that could use help and represent how they might shine light on it to help correct it-for example, world hunger or economic injustice.