I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do. — Edward Everett Hale
IN TODAY'S SESSION...
We focused on the idea of responsibility, and the fact that what each of us does or doesn't do, makes a difference. We heard a story from Thailand and Burma about a queen who saw a problem but thought that it was not her responsibility to solve it, until it was so big that her whole kingdom burned to the ground. We talked about ways that we already make a difference at home and school, and talked about problems that we wish we could help solve and did some brainstorming of small ways that we can make a difference with these problems. Your child should bring home an "I Make a Difference" handout which lists some answers they came up with.
For our Faith in Action project, the children have each agreed to take a small step that they have identified to help solve a big problem at school, in their community or in the world. You can help your child experience taking responsibility and making a difference by reminding and supporting him/her to complete the "small step" he/she has chosen.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. TALK ABOUT...
It is easy for people of any age to feel powerless against so many big problems in the world. It is important to help your child to remember all of the ways that they already help to make a difference in the world. Look at the list on the "I Make a Difference" handout with your child and add to it more ways that they help around the house, and helps friends, neighbors and relatives. This can include things like cleaning up their toys so people don't trip on them, helping with recycling, sharing with siblings, talking to a grandparent on the phone. Think of "helping" as broadly as possible! Then talk about all the ways as a family that you take responsibility for making the world a better place. This can include things like obeying laws, voting, recycling, charitable donations or whatever any of your family members do to help in your community, at your congregation or at work.
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. TRY...
Look at the "I Make a Difference" handout and talk about the problem that your child identified and the ways they can make a difference. If you can, add to the list or help your child visualize the identified acts with more detail and clarity.
A FAMILY RITUAL
Magic wand. When your family shares a meal together, pass a pretend magic wand around the table letting each person name a problem they wish they could swish away. Then talk about small ways that you can, or do, make a difference, and how these actions contribute to a lasting effect more valuable than "magic," because of the love and caring you put into them.
A FAMILY GAME
"It's Not My Problem." Ask your child to share the folk tale they heard in this session. You can find the story online; it is part of the Moral Tales curriculum on the Tapestry of Faith website. Have fun making up a modernized version of the story together, as if it happened in your home or neighborhood or community. Maybe someone left a banana peel on the sidewalk, or a little toy truck on the stairs, and someone slipped which caused something else to go wrong which caused something else to go wrong until it was a disaster! Maybe one neighbor was too lazy to recycle, and then all the neighbors thought the city's recycling program had been canceled, and people stopped recycling until there was so much trash that it started leaking out of the dump and into the neighborhood. (Try to make it funny!)
Explore volunteer opportunities that your congregation or community offers and agree to try participating in one that is family-friendly.