Lesson 21 has the most wonderful introduction on consultation and the spiritual qualities we need to practice when consulting with each other –
When people come together to consult, they share their ideas with purity of heart and radiant spirits. They all know that, in order to discover the right way forward, they must each contribute their thoughts and understanding. They speak courteously to one another and use kind and gentle words. More important, they know that they must listen carefully to one another and think about what each person is saying.
It is in listening and thinking, not just speaking, that ideas come together; new and wonderful ideas are born. Think of making soup. Many different ingredients are put together in a pot, like carrots and beans, salt and water, and as they cook over the fire, all the separate things melt together into one whole and become a delicious meal for everyone to enjoy. In consultation, as all the participants share their thoughts lovingly, listen patiently and think carefully, with their hearts turned to God and confident in His blessings, the most beautiful ideas emerge.
We decided for the next lesson – we will make soup! 🙂
For today’s lesson, we then concentrated on finishing the memorisation of our prayer. The second half of it was turned into a beautiful pop-up card. See the pics for examples.
There are only 2 more classes before the summer holidays… Next week (2 December) we’ll make soup (bring an ingredient if you can) and the week after we have our end-of-year celebration – at this point it looks like we might go to the pool – wohoo! 🙂
Note: We’re very excited to be at Whiti Te Rā again this year – held on Saturday, 8 December – where we will have a stall to join in with the neighbourhood celebrations. Come and say hello 🙂
For today, we stared with a craft activity. To focus our attention the prayer we are memorising (still working on the first part of it) we created collages – depicting the imagery in the prayer:
‘O my God! O my God! Thou seest these children who are the twigs of the tree of life, the birds of the meads of salvation, the pearls of the ocean of Thy grace, the roses of the garden of Thy guidance.’
Looking at the power of unified thought and action – this was our story for today:
Not long ago, in a country where many people farmed the land, heavy rains caused flooding across an entire region. The rivers overflowed their banks and the flood waters destroyed houses, bridges and schools, roads and fields, sweeping away the crops that had been planted. When the floods were over, most people were left with nothing. They had no homes, and there was little food.
Now, the Bahá’ís who lived in other parts of the country, knowing that the people of the region were suffering, came together to consult to find a way to assist. They realised, of course, that the people needed food. But, as the Bahá’í friends discussed the matter, it became clear that it would not be enough to simply send food. It would be important for the people to be able to grow crops again. How could they help for this to happen?
If they could only get seeds, the people of the region could farm and grow food for themselves as they had done before the flood. Everyone could see that this would be a good way for them to help. So what did they do? The decided to use money contributed by their community to buy many tons of corn seeds. Trucks were piled high with sacks of seeds and transported to the areas that had been worst affected by the floods. The people expressed joy and gratitude, singing and playing drums. With these seeds, they could start farming again, and in spite of the suffering caused by the floods, everyone felt hopeful, strong and happy.
We finished today’s lesson with some drama exercises and a group improvisation – each one representing a character in a village that gets affected by a hurricane and then have to work together to rebuild the village.
Take ye counsel together in all matters, inasmuch as consultation is the lamp of guidance which leadeth the way, and is the bestower of understanding. –Bahá’u’lláh
We are now starting set 7 of the Grade 2 lessons – last set before Grade 3 – wohoo! 🙂 These next 3 lessons are all about ‘consultation’ and how consultation leads to greater understanding. When we consult, we come together in search of truth, discussing possibilities, talking over ideas and sharing understanding. All the participants contribute in whatever way they can so that a unified vision of the way forward can emerge.
We brainstormed some ideas on when we can use the gift of consultation – at school when deciding what game to play during lunch break; at home, when deciding what movie to watch for family movie night; when having to decide on what options to take at school; when planning a family trip; when buying a birthday present for someone; etc etc. we can consult on amy matter big or small!
We used the drama exercise for this lesson, which was great fun! The king of a large kingdom comes to visit a small village. He arrives at night on a large animal nobody had heard of before – an ‘elephant’. As he camps on the outskirts of the village for the night, the villagers send out some youth to go and find out what this ‘elephant’ looks like. It is pitchdark and each youth takes a turn to ‘see/feel’ the elephant. Each comes back with different reports – it’s like a snake at the front, long, thick and bendy; it’s like a tree-trunk that moves; it;s like a wall with rough skin on it; it’s smooth and pointy at the end; it’s like a rope…. such differing impressions make it hard for the youth to explain the elephant. On consulting together they realise they have simply ‘seen’ the elephant from different sides and if they put them all together they can make out a perfect image of the elephant! yay 🙂
To finish off our class for today, we started making pompom bookmarks – see this fabulous tutorial for instructions.
And while we had our class – the youngest participants had a puppet show – I didn’t get a chance to ask them what the story was about, but see the pics for now 🙂