We did not weave the web of life;
We are merely a strand in it.
Whatever we do to the web,
We do to ourselves
— attributed to Chief Seattle, chief of the Duwamish Nation
IN TODAY'S SESSION... we heard the story, "The Grumpy Gecko," which showed that all living beings on the Earth are connected on a great invisible web of life. We talked about our seventh Unitarian Universalist Principle, respect for the interdependent web of which we are all a part, and how our group is also an interdependent web. We created a covenant, or promises to each other for our time together, recognizing that what one person does affects the whole web. We added a picture of a gecko to our World of Wonder mural to remind us that we are all connected.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about the ways in which your family is part of the interdependent web of life. Discuss the ways members of a family are interdependent and the ways individuals in a family influence one another.
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Create a family covenant. Most families have explicit rules, as well as many that go unspoken. Set some time aside to identify behaviors that help the family thrive. List the promises you are all willing to keep and have each member of the family sign the covenant. Try to state your expectations in positive terms rather than negative. For example, instead of saying "Don't be selfish," you can say, "Be generous." Empower all members of the family to be keepers of the covenant and point out when it has been broken. If you like, work together to create a list of apology actions, such as apologizing, giving a hug, fixing something, or giving someone some space. You can use these actions to help make things right after a transgression. For an example, see the "Family Pledge of Non-Violence" on the Parenting for Peace and Justice website.
A Family Adventure. Go on a "web walk" early in the morning to find as many spider webs glistening with dew as you can. Notice how intricate they are. How are they like the invisible web of all life that people are a part of?
Family Discovery. Watch nature shows such as "Planet Earth" on PBS, Netflix, or DVD. Subscribe to nature magazines like National Wildlife Federation's Big Backyard or Ranger Rick; even small donations to Sierra Club and other organizations usually bring high quality nature magazines to your door. Talk about the interdependence that exists between different animals and plants you learn about. What links can you observe?
A Family Game. Create a web together with a ball of yarn, as the group did in today's session.
A Family Ritual. Practice a gratitude bedtime ritual in which you take turns naming different animals and plants. Say thank you to each living being for a way it is important in the web of life and in your life. Optional: Extend the ritual to include people.