LESSON 10: IMPORTANCE OF UNITY
This lesson is all about living in Harmony, and about the importance of unity to help us achieve the ideal living space not just in our homes, but worldwide.
For lessons 10 to 12 we will memorize the prayer below
O Lord God! Make us as waves of the sea, as flowers of the garden, united, agreed through the bounties of Thy love. O Lord! Dilate the breasts through the signs of Thy oneness, and make all mankind as stars shining from the same height of glory, as perfect fruits growing upon Thy tree of life. Verily, Thou art the Almighty, the Self-Subsistent, the Giver, the Forgiving, the Pardoner, the Omniscient, the One Creator.‘Abdu’l-Bahá
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You can use the following explanation to help you present today’s quotation to the children:
All the people of the world were created by one God, and all are His servants. We all breathe the same air, live on the same earth, and receive light and warmth from the same sun. We are all part of one human family. And just like a garden bursting with flowers of every shape and color, humanity is made up of peoples of different colors and races, different talents and capacities, which are harmonized in a beautiful whole. The great diversity of the human family can be likened to the many notes that come together in a delightful melody. A melody with only one note repeated over and over is not pleasing to the ear; it is dull and monotonous. So it is with the diversity of the human race; when the diverse people of the world come together in unity, the true strength and potential of humanity can be seen.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá showed us through His words and actions how we can build unity. His home was often full of people from different parts of the world living happily in one household, and wherever He went, He insisted that gatherings include everyone who wished to join, bringing all together in harmony and never allowing differences to separate people. He always reminded the friends that we are waves of one sea, grass in the same meadow, leaves on the same tree, united by the love of God. We see everyone as our brothers and sisters, and we treat every soul with kindness. If misunderstandings arise among us, we resolve them with friendliness, remembering our love for God and for each other. We avoid arguments and fights. Think of the human body; all the different parts work together to make it healthy and strong. In the same way, as we all work together, each doing our part, we see the power of unified action, and great things can be accomplished. To help us remember the importance of unity, let us memorize the following words of Bahá’u’lláh:
So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.Bahá’u’lláh
MEANING OF WORDS
The sun’s rays warm the earth and give life to all beings. The sun’s rays are powerful.
As Kendra read the poem, its sweet words touched her heart and brought tears to her eyes. The poem was very powerful.
The room was dark until we turned on the light. The light illumined the room.
In the morning, the sun rises and shines its light on the land and sea. The sun illumines the land and sea.
MEMORIZATION AID FOR QUOTE
PICTURES TO REMEMBER THE QUOTE HERE
A Story OF ‘Abdu’l-Baha and unity
Throughout His life, ‘Abdu’l Baha brought all different kinds of people together- old and young, rich and poor, of all religions and backgrounds- and helped them to learn the ways of unity. Here is a story that shows how ‘Abdu’l-Baha brought two hearts together.
Every day many people came to visit Abdu’l-Baha in His home, and He welcomed them all with open arms. One day, a gentleman arrived at the house and was greeted warmly. Sometime later, while this gentleman was still visiting with Abdu’l-Baha, a second man came to call, and he, too, was warmly welcomed. Now, it so happened that these two gentlemen had had a disagreement, and they were not at all happy to see each other. In fact, they did not even want to be in the same room together. What would happen? Both wanted to be with Abdu’l-Baha. Would one of them decide to leave?
Abdu’l-Baha resolved the matter immediately. He started by telling some funny stories, and before long, both men were laughing. Then He said that His home was a home of peace and joy, a home of laughter and exultation. He did not want them to leave with feelings of hatred in their hearts. The gentlemen listened carefully, thinking about Abdu’l-Baha’s words. After a while, Abdul-Baha gave them each some sweets and a silk handkerchief (HAVE SWEETS AND A SILK HANKY OUT AS PROPS). These were to be, He indicated, a token of their pledge of friendship. The two men smiled. They recognized that it was God Who had directed their steps to Abdu’l-Baha’s home that day. And they went away from Abdu’l-Baha’s presence joyful and full of laughter.
What do you take away from this story?
In following the ways of Abdu’l-Baha, we never allow differences to come between us, and, if misunderstandings ever arise, we think of our love for God and look for those things that unite us.
DRAMA / GAMES
The activities that follow will help the children continue developing the skills and abilities of creative drama.
Ask your students to stand in their imaginary squares. As you did in the previous lesson, have the children stand about 5 feet apart and imagine that they are in their own squares. Ask them to walk along the border of his/her imaginary square.
Ask children to: raise up your arms and stretching from the tips of your toes to the tips of your fingers, reach towards the sky. Now you are going to relax and let your arms and head hang freely. Repeat this several times.
Now tell the children to stretch their arms out at shoulder length and rotate them slowly, making small circles. Gradually the circles should become bigger and bigger. As they do this exercise, their arms will feel heavier and heavier. Tell the children than when their arms feel very heavy, they should let them drop and shake them out.
For the next exercise, the children will remain in their imaginary squares. Tell them to pretend they are doing the following: washing dishes, washing a dog, feeding chickens, carrying wood, planting seeds, picking a crop, pouring and drinking a glass of water. (Call the actions out one at a time, giving the children a minute or so to improvise each)
Now have the children form a circle, sitting down, yourself among them. Create a face- a happy face, a sad face, a frightened face. Turn to one of the youngsters sitting next to you and pass the face on to that child. He or she should assume the expression and pass it on to the next child, and so on. You may do this several times, allowing a different children to create a face each time.
Now we are going to move on to the activities related to the theme of this lesson- the importance of living in unity. Do you remember the analogy that was used earlier to describe the oneness of humanity? It has to do with the human body. What would happen if some of our fingers refused to grab on to something we needed to pick up? What if each leg tried to walk in a different direction? The next few activities will help us see what it means to be united.
I am going to tell you a story about a hand whose fingers and thumb stopped working together, and I am going to ask you to ACT IT OUT SILENTLY WITH YOUR OWN HANDS as I tell it. (HAVE PENCIL, PAPER, SPOON and SMALL BALL PROPS FOR EACH CHILD)
One day the fingers on Ramiro’s hand fought with the thumb. They decided that they didn’t like it, they didn’t need it, and they could manage fine without it. That seemed a great idea to the thumb, who took advantage of the time to rest. Meanwhile, the fingers began a new life. But…when they tried to pick up a pencil, they had difficulty. When they finally managed, it was even harder to write. Neither could they hold the spoon easily when it was time to eat. And buttoning up a shirt was impossible. So they decided to play instead. But, to their surprise, they couldn’t grab the ball. Feeling sorry, they turned to their brother, the thumb, and asked him to join them again. The thumb, who was bored being alone, did not have to think twice and gladly went back to his duties.
For this next activity, we will need to divide up into pairs. One child from each pair will need to stand behind the other. The child behind should be facing the back of his or her partner. Each pair is going to act as one person. The child in back will be the arms and the child in front will be the rest of the body. The hands of the child in front should be placed behind his/her back, allowing the arms of the child behind to be extended, as though they were the arms of the front child (have a pair come up and demonstrate so everyone sees how to do it).
Now, each pair will first act out a situation in which the arms are not united in the rest of the body. The child in front should describe what is happening to the body. For example, he or she may say, “There is sun in my eyes, I need to protect them with my hand” or “My nose is itchy, I need to scratch it.” The child behind should do something DIFFERENT from what the body has said, for example, wave his/her hand, fold his or her arms, or wiggle his/her fingers.
Next, each pair is going to act IN HARMONY, with the arms doing the jobs the body needs them to do.
Then allow children to SWAP ROLES, so each has a chance to pretend to be the arms.
Pass the face
Everyone sits in a large circle, one person makes a funny face and each person in turn, passes it along the circle. We had some great laughs!
THE OLD LAPBOOK VERSION HAS THE FOLLOWING FILES
1. UNITED HEARTS ( 2 versions)
2. PRAYER FLIPBOOK TO DECORATE
3. QUOTE MEMORIZING (choose one of 3 lanterns and quote)
DOWNLOAD COMPONENTS HERE
CRAFTS OF HEART SLIDING AND “UNITING”
NOTE YOU CAN USE TWO HEARTS OR THE ONE BROKEN INTO TWO AS THE VIDEO SHOWS.
Based on the story:
- Decorate sweet wrappers.
- Write your favorite joke
DESIGN A PRAYER
YOUR OWN VERSION OF THE PRAYER WE ARE MEMORIZING
Review the quotation from today’s lesson with the children and then say a few words about kindness and compassion, before asking them to recite the quotations they memorized in Grade 1 related to these qualities:
Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and loveBaha’u’llah
The Kingdom of God is founded upon equity and justice, and also upon mercy, compassion, and kindness to every living soul‘Abdu’l-Bahá