Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Virtue Ethics: An Ethical Development Program for High School Youth

Activity 6: Practice

Part of Virtue Ethics

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Participants' journals, and writing instruments
  • Participants' clipboards with anklets (Workshop 1, Activity 3, Practice)
  • Beads, and waterproof markers and/or other decorations
  • Extra clipboards and string/hemp, and scissors

Preparation for Activity

  • If needed, read instructions for making the anklets in the Before You Start section of the program Introduction and in Workshop 1, Decision Making.
  • Retrieve participants' clipboards with anklets, and participants' journals if these are also kept on-site.
  • Write on newsprint, and post:
    • When was there a time that you felt compassion for another creature?
    • Did feeling compassion change your behavior? If so, how?
    • What conditions can you identify that increase the likelihood that you will act compassionately towards others?
    • Are there those to whom you cannot possibly feel compassion?
    • When has balancing a sense of compassion with day-to-day realities been difficult?
    • What are the areas of your life now where you could apply compassion to help you be the person you want to be?

Description of Activity

Participants understand how the use of compassion affects their lives.

Invite youth to take five minutes to journal, using the questions on newsprint as prompts, or to draw or meditate on the questions.

Additional prompts you may add, while the group journals:

  • When have others acted compassionately towards you? How did that make you feel?
  • Can you be a good person without feeling compassion?
  • Can you be a good person if you feel compassion, but do not act on it?

After five minutes, ask participants to stop. Invite volunteers to share journal writing, to their level of comfort. When sharing is complete or after five minutes, distribute participants' clipboards, new beads (one per youth), and decorating materials. Invite youth to take the next five minutes to decorate a bead while reflecting on their personal experiences with compassion. Remind the youth that the beads will remind them to use their highest values.

As participants finish, have them add this bead to the anklet they started in Workshop 1.

If any participant missed Workshop 1, provide them with a clipboard, hemp, a bead for their name bead, and instruction to begin their anklet.

Collect journals, clipboards, and anklet-making materials, and store for the next workshop.