So many gods, so many creeds,
So many paths that wind and wind,
While just the art of being kind
Is all the sad world needs.
— Ella Wheeler Wilcox, American poet (1850-1919)
IN TODAY'S SESSION...
When children opened the Wonder Box today, they found a Golden Ruler. This symbolizes the Golden Rule, one of the most famous of Jesus' teachings: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The children learned that versions of the Golden Rule exist in many different religions. According to Rev. Sophia Fahs' telling of the story, "The Very Short Rule," contemporaries of Jesus expressed frustration at having to remember so many rules. Many were poor and had to work very hard for a living. They did not have the time or education to remember all the rules in their faith. Jesus taught that even following all the biblical dictates would not necessarily make someone a good person, but following the Golden Rule contained the essence of a faithful life.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about...
How the Golden Rule applies in your family.
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try...
Put the Golden Ruler your child(ren) brought home on the refrigerator for everyone to see. See who can say "the very short rule" while standing on one foot.
A FAMILY RITUAL
Tell the family you will all keep alert for people being kind. When someone is caught being kind, they get a hug from the family member that "catches" them. For example, if someone cleans up the living room without being asked you can say, "Hey, I caught you being kind! You get a HUG!" Or, when someone sees an opportunity for kindness, they can grab the Golden Ruler and say, "Hey, let's treat others as we want to be treated." When siblings are bickering might be a good time to do this. They might even try it standing on one foot.