"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
— Peace Pilgrim, born Mildred Lisette Norman, an American pacifist and peace activist
IN TODAY'S SESSION... The children explored the intangible gift of acceptance — a cornerstone of Unitarian Universalist faith, yet a gift that UUs of all ages probably need practice understanding and giving. Unitarian Universalists are proud of our tradition of accepting people who have been marginalized by other communities. Our congregations strive to welcome people who have felt unwelcome in other faith communities, perhaps because of their sexual orientation or their rejection of religious doctrine. Unitarian Universalism explicitly embraces and values people who stand outside the mainstream in order to honor their own truths and heartfelt beliefs.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... what it means to accept people in our families. Discuss what you have in common and ways that you differ. At this age, you can point out differences such as who likes pasta plain and who likes it with sauce. If there are significant physical or ability differences in your family, talk about these, too. Talk about how acceptance of our differences helps in family relationships. Present acceptance as meaning accepting ways we are different from others, as well as accepting ways others are different from us. Realize that your child is noticing physical, familial and other kinds of diversity among their peers.
The children made self portraits in today's session and observed physical differences between themselves and their peers.Help them process their feelings about physical diversity.
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try...
A FAMILY GAME
Play the Same Game. Invite each person to take a turn and name someone they think is very different from themselves. Then, other family members list all the ways they notice the first player and the person they named are the same. Take turns naming a person everyone in the family knows. After naming that person, list all the ways you are the same. Each person thinks of someone. Some of the issues that may come up may be diversity in skin color, size, income, gender and many others. Take issues as they arise as teachable moments to affirm acceptance. If someone makes a comment about another's weight being too much, affirm that acceptance means knowing we are different and keep the focus on how we are the same.