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

Activity 3: What Have I Got to Give?

Part of Virtue Ethics

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers, and tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Draw the outline of a person on newsprint, and post.

Description of Activity

Youth consider diverse ways to be generous.

Say in these words, or your own:

Often, when we talk about generosity, we limit ourselves to thinking of money only. Giving financially to organizations and people who are trying to help the world be a more just place or to people who have material needs is important, but it is not the only way we can be generous.

Ask the group to brainstorm resources with which we can be generous. Make sure they include: our time, our talents or expertise, our knowledge, our heart (loving generously), and our support or enthusiasm. Write, or have a volunteer write, each suggested resource on the newsprint in an appropriate place on the body. For example, they might write “knowledge” on the head. Let the resources be as general or specific as the youth like.

Now invite participants to think quietly for one minute of a time someone was unexpectedly generous to them with a resource other than money. After one minute, have the youth partner with one other person and share their stories. Give pairs four minutes, telling the pairs when two minutes have passed and they should switch speakers.

Re-gather the group. Ask a few volunteers to share their own story with the entire group. In each story, help the youth identify what resource was given. Ask the storyteller how it felt to be the recipient of such generosity. Remind the group that during the Practice activity, they will be asked to find an area of their life where they could be more generous. Point to the brainstormed list and say that generosity is not about having a lot of money to give away. It is about having a generous spirit or soul.