We know from science that nothing in the universe exists as an isolated or independent entity. – Margaret Wheatley, American author and management consultant
IN TODAY’S SESSION… The children learned about how animals are trained to help people with disabilities. They learned that animals’ potential to be useful to humans speaks to a deeper, seventh Principle connection that can exist beyond the feeding and shelter of pets. The children made biscuits to take to (or raise money for) an animal shelter and heard a story, Leila Raises a Puppy, about a family that raised a puppy and prepared it for training to be a guide dog.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGEHER. Talk about… How are members of your family connected with animals? Do you have a pet? What contact has your family had with animals that assist people with special needs? When has your child had opportunities to interact with farm animals?
Talk about animals that members of your family have known, and how you have loved and/or taken care of them. Identify elements of mutual caring in your relationship with specific animals. If you have a family pet, point out that when your child helps with its care, they earn the pet’s affection and loyalty.
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try… Sit together outside your home and see how many animals you notice. Even urban areas offer opportunities to see animals in their natural habitat, such as squirrels, insects and birds of many kinds. Notice what the animals are doing. Are they searching for food? Are they playing together?
Is there is a petting zoo in your area? Go as a family to a small-scale zoo that provides safe, direct interaction with animals. Often a petting zoo allows visitors to feed as well as touch animals.
Part of a mutually caring relationship is to protect the other party from harm. As a family, go outdoors and practice caring for wild animal friends by leaving them alone. Talk about how wildlife is part of the environment that humans enjoy. Share your knowledge about how human actions affect wildlife. At a local pond, for example, tell your children, that feeding scraps of bread to waterfowl can actually harm them. Online, find information on encounters with animals in the wild, such as a Wildlife Safety section of the National Park Service website or this information on National Parks and Safety Tips from Ezine Articles.