Let him who expects one class of society to prosper in the highest degree, while the other is in distress, try whether one side of the face can smile while the other is pinched. — Thomas Fuller (1608-1661), British clergyman and author
IN TODAY’S SESSION…
We reflected on how we view ourselves in terms of socio-economic class, using simple categories of rich, middle class, working class, and poor. We talked about how we learn to compare people in these ways. We reinforced our first Unitarian Universalist Principle, the inherent worth and dignity of every person—no matter how much money or power they have.
We focused participants’ attention on people and classes they might be unaware of—the unseen workers who grow and prepare our food, make our clothing, build our infrastructure and provide our luxuries. The children heard “Yammani and the Soji,” a story by Kenneth Collier about a society where the very reverent, supposedly religious leaders neglect to value workers they consider to be of a low class.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about…
How notions of socio-economic class affect your family. How do you perceive yourselves? How does embracing a class identity (e.g., rich, middle class, working class or poor) help your family? How does it hurt you?
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try…
A FAMILY ADVENTURE
Visit a downtown area, a museum, a library, a grocery store, a park or a shopping mall together. Bring notebooks and pens and take some time to identify and acknowledge the invisible hands that make it possible for you to enjoy your excursion. Identify the behind-the-scenes workers such as plumbers, farmers, bakers, masons, etc.
A FAMILY GAME
Play one of the board games, Monopoly or Life, as a family, paying particular attention to the ways the game confers status and power on players. What message is sent when a player achieves or loses wealth or power by the roll of the dice? In what ways are these games like, and unlike, real life?