Peace through Understanding; I Am Able with Jennifer Gates, Youth And Family Ministry Director, Unity of SA
Peace cannot be kept by force;
it can only be achieved by understanding. – Albert Einstein
Throughout the month of October, we are finding ways that we can use more empathy in the world around us! We are excited to have guest speakers join us each week this month to explore different groups of people that we encounter every day. We are learning important lessons about tolerance, acceptance, understanding, and empathy. The biggest lesson that we are learning is that regardless of what another person looks like on the outside or feels like on the inside, we are all more alike than different. We all have the Light of God inside of us.
Today’s topic, “I Am Able” challenges us to really see differently abled people in our world. We are building on the past two weeks’ discussion of empathy and tolerance and adding on our thoughts about acceptance and understanding. We are excited to have, as our presenter, our very own Juliana Berry. Julie is open-heartedly sharing with us what her personal experience has been in this world as someone who is not seen as “typical.” Younger children will have the option of an alternate activity, details of which are listed below.
When we put ourselves in another person’s shoes, we are often more sensitive to what that person is experiencing and are less likely to tease or bully them. By examining how we can each be more conscious of other people’s feelings and by looking for things we share in common, we can create a more accepting, respectful, and peaceful community.
Key Words From This Week’s Lesson:
If you would like to learn more about this week’s topic, or if you are a parent interested in furthering the Sunday school discussion at home, here is some information for you!
Empathy: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another
Tolerance: a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, practices, racial or ethnic origins, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.
Acceptance: the act of accepting something or someone, the fact of being accepted: approval
Understanding: friendly or harmonious relationship; an agreement of opinion or feeling: adjustment of differences
“Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations. Disability is thus not just a health problem. It is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives. Overcoming the difficulties faced by people with disabilities requires interventions to remove environmental and social barriers.” (Excerpted from the World Health Organization)
In addition to the wonderful, heartfelt sharing and discussion that we will have with Julie this week, we will also provide an alternate option for our younger children. If they choose not to attend the discussion group, they will make and reassemble a “hurtful words puzzle” and will read and discuss:
The Golden Rule
This book is a gentle reminder of a timeless rule for parent and child: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Everyone knows a version of the Golden Rule. But what does it really mean? And how do you follow it? In this gorgeously illustrated book, a grandfather explains to his grandson that the Golden Rule means you treat people the way you would like to be treated. It’s golden because it’s so valuable, and a way of living your life that’s so simple, it shines. And though it may be a simple rule, it isn’t easy to follow. Fortunately, following the Golden Rule is something everyone can do, which means that every person–old or young, rich or poor–can be a part of making the world a better place.
Stellaluna is an uplifting story that demonstrates the difficulty of assimilation. Because she loses her bat mother, Stellaluna is forced to live the way birds live. Though the baby bat has not had enough teaching from her mother on the proper etiquette of being a bat, she knows enough to realize that there are some major differences between the behaviors of the two species. Stellaluna faces many difficulties in suppressing her instinctual habits and trying to act like a bird, but succumbs to the task because she has no other option. She feels the need to surpass the expectations her foster mother sets for the bird babies, in order to prove that she is just as good as them. Stellaluna’s trials of fitting into the lifestyle of the birds, as well as her attempts to teach her bird friends how bats live, demonstrate the value of understanding one’s own heritage, and not trying to conform to an unnatural way of life.
Principle #3: I create my life experience by what I choose to think, believe and feel.
Principle #5: I must live the Truth that I know!
As always, please feel free to drop by our YM classrooms to see what we are up to! Our space is calm and inviting yet filled with a vibrant energy. Perhaps you will find a place here that tugs at your heart – we welcome you as a visitor or as a volunteer! Click here to contact Jennifer Gates, Youth & Family Minister Director
Sunday, October 29 – Fifth Sunday = Family Sunday. No YM Classes.