Activity time: 10 minutes
Preparation for Activity
- Think of two short, personal anecdotes you can share, if needed, to prompt or affirm the children-one about being left out or unwelcomed, and one about an action you did to welcome someone else. Be ready to say how you felt in each situation.
Description of Activity
Tell the children that now you would like them to talk about their own experiences. Have they ever felt like Pele when she asked the first family for food, and they said "no?" Say:
Just about everyone has had a time when they felt shut out of a group. I know it has happened to me. Can you think of a time when it happened to you? When did you feel left out, or unwelcomed?
Invite children to share stories about times they felt shut out, left out of groups, or unwelcomed. Some examples might include not being picked for a team, feeling left out when a younger sibling is born, or not being invited to a party or to play a game with others. If the group is slow to share, offer your anecdote.
Encourage each storyteller to say how they felt. Acknowledge that being excluded can be painful. Assure them that everyone is left out sometimes, and many times people do not mean to be unwelcoming to each other. Sometimes, we are busy with our friends or a project we are doing, and we do not notice someone new. You might say:
Sometimes when we feel very comfortable someplace, we don't think about how a new person might feel coming into that same place for the first time. But, as Unitarian Universalists, we want to try to remember to welcome others whenever we have a chance to.
Now ask for stories of times the children were welcomed into a group or a situation. Ask what someone did or said to welcome them. Ask how they felt. Acknowledge that it makes us feel good when we are welcomed. You might say:
How does it feel when we welcome others? We feel friendly and loving, and that is a good way to feel.