Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Riddle and Mystery: A Program on the Big Questions for Grade 6

Alternate Activity 3: Challenge Question

Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Optional: Newsprint, markers and tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Optional: Write the challenge question on newsprint, and post.

Description of Activity

Challenge questions guide a deeper inquiry for especially thoughtful individuals and groups. For this session, ask:

What do you think of this quotation from the Danish poet and scientist Piet Hein:

Knowing what

Thou knowest not

Is in a sense


Explain that "omniscience" means "knowing everything;" the lines could be restated, "If you know what you do not know, then you know everything."

What do participants think? Can you make the same statement about other verbs (e.g., "Dancing what you do not dance is in a sense dancing everything")?

Point out, if participants do not, that the quote suggests that being aware of a weakness can turn that weakness into a strength. Ask the youth:

  • Does knowing your weakness help make that weakness a strength?
  • Is not knowing the answers to a big question a weakness, a strength or neither? Why?

Remind the group that most Unitarian Universalists are comfortable living with mystery. Knowing what we do not know helps us continue to explore the unknown and be ready to discover even more that we do not know.