Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Heeding the Call: A Program on Justicemaking for Junior High School Youth

Activity 1: Story - The Stolen Soup Aroma

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the story until you are comfortable presenting it.
  • Optional: Make copies of the story for youth to share and read along.

Description of Activity

Youth hear a story about abundance, scarcity and greed.

Introduce the story as a traditional folktale from West Africa. Tell or read the story. Process with the following questions:

  • Why do you think the neighbor was furious? Do you think she felt the poor woman did not deserve her soup's aroma?
  • How did the poor woman's use of the aroma affect the neighbor's enjoyment of her soup? Do you think the neighbor enjoyed the soup more knowing that others-like the poor woman-did not have soup? What would you call that feeling?
  • Have you ever experienced a situation where someone could have easily shared with someone else, but refused to, even when asked?
  • What are some reasons people do not share when they have plenty? (Possible answers: they are afraid they will not have enough for themselves; they believe they have worked harder than those without and therefore they deserve more; they look down on the poor.)
  • The story describes the circumstances sketchily. We do not know why the poor woman is poor or the neighbor wealthier. Does it matter?
  • What message concerning abundance and scarcity do you take from this story?