LESSON 17: WORKING HARD FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL
The last lesson was about service – and how we need to work hard and make an effort every day for the benefit of humanity. Taking ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as the perfect Example, we see how there is no time to be idle (or bored!) One way to work for the benefit of all was through service. In this lesson, we will continue to learn by memorizing the quote and listening to the stories.
We will continue to memorize the prayer below
O Thou kind Lord! These lovely children are the handiwork of the fingers of Thy might and the wondrous signs of Thy greatness. O, God! Protect these children, graciously assist them to be educated and enable them to render service to the world of humanity. O God! These children are pearls, cause them to be nurtured within the shell of Thy loving-kindness. Thou art the Bountiful, the All-Loving‘Abdu’l-Bahá
The ideas below will assist you in explaining to the children the quotation they will learn today:
If we are to serve God and humanity, effort is required. We must be diligent and hard working. Like trees that give forth goodly and wondrous fruits for the benefit and enjoyment of all, we make effort and work for the good of those around us. And we know that God promises to assist our efforts. So we rise every day, turn our hearts to Him in prayer, and then set out, confident that His love surrounds us and eager to do what little we each can to make this world an earthly paradise. And at the end of each day, we think about what we have done and thank God for His aid and assistance, knowing that we will try even harder the next day. How sad if we waste the time we have been given in this world, and all the talents and capacities with which we each have been blessed, and do not use them in service to God’s loved ones.
Throughout His life, ‘Abdu’l-Baha was constantly active, working for the good of all. Early each morning He would make His round of visits to the inhabitants of ‘Akka. He would visit the elderly, the sick, and the suffering, seeing to their needs and offering them comfort and assistance. During the rest of the day, He would tend to the affairs of the Baha’i community. He would direct various projects, dictate letters, write, and receive visitors. People from all walks of life would bring their problems and concerns to Him, seeking His guidance and counsel. He would give them encouragement and advice and would help to ease their difficulties. Those who worked for the Master had difficulty keeping up with the fast pace of His busy life, but they were assisted and strengthened by His great spirit and words of encouragement. And we strive to follow ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s example and spend our time in active service to others.:,
To help us remember to always be working hard for the benefit of all, let us memorize the following quotation:
Waste not your time in idleness and sloth. Occupy yourselves with that which profiteth yourselves and othersBaha’u’llah
MEANING OF WORDS
When Furio came home from school, he did his homework, then helped his mother and assisted his younger brothers and sisters with their studies. Furio did not rest for a single moment. He was never idle.
An old steam train ran through the town for many years but now it is no longer in use and sits idle by the side of the tracks.
Fei Li was very gifted at making crafts, which she had learned from her grandmother. Fei Liwanted to teach crafts to others so they could also develop the ability to make beautiful things. Fei Liwanted her talents to profit others.
The doctor looked at the old woman. He could see she was not well and told her that her health would improve if she spent more time in the sunshine. She would profit, he said, from taking a long walk outdoors every day.
MEMORIZATION AID FOR QUOTE
PICTURES TO REMEMBER THE QUOTE HERE
Service To Humanity
His heart filled with the love of God, ‘Abdu’l-Baha spent every moment in service to humanity. He is the perfect Example of how we should serve. I would like to tell you a story about Abdu’l-Baha.
There once was a very proud man who did not understand the Station of ‘Abdu ‘l-Baha. One day, he approached Abdul-Baha in the street and said, “So, You are called the Servant of God.” ‘Abdu ‘l-Baha replied that, indeed, that was His name. The name ‘Abdu ‘l-Baha actually means ” Servant of Baha” or Servant of God.
“Well,” said the man proudly, “I am Moses.” Now, the man was referring to the Prophet of God, Moses, and it was not really his name at all. We will learn more about Moses next year when we study the lives of many of the Messengers of God, like Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Muhammad, the Bab and Bahau’llah, but for today you need to know that Moses was one of the Messengers of God that came long before Baha’u’llah.
Why do you think he was calling himself Moses?
The man was trying to annoy ‘Abdu ‘l-Baha, but Abdul-Baha did not respond to his jest. Instead, He told the man to meet Him the next morning at the same spot on the street, and they would go together and serve the people like the great Moses had done.
The man agreed, and the next day from morning to evening he accompanied Abdul-Baha as He visited the sick and the suffering, served the needy and met with the people who were thirsty to receive His love and His wise counsel.
By evening, how do you think the man who called himself Moses was feeling? He was extremely tired. Yet, he would not let go of his pride, and when ‘Abdu’l-Baha asked him to accompany Him the next day, he accepted.
Again by the evening of the second day, the man was exhausted, but he accepted to accompany ‘Abdu ‘l-Baha for yet another day.
On the third day when they returned from their arduous work, do you think he wanted to go again? No! The man could not bear the thought of working so hard, not even for another minute.
He had learned his lesson and had caught a glimpse of ‘Abdu ‘l-Baha’s greatness. So as they went to part ways, and before ‘Abdu ‘l-Baha could invite him for another day of work, the man said with great humility:
” ‘Abdu ‘l-Baha, tomorrow morning I will no longer be Moses. “
- What can we learn from this story?
- What are some examples of ways we can serve others in our daily lives? (ex. sharing with others the Word of God)
Download the story as a PDF HERE
Draw any part of the story
DRAMA / GAMES
After the usual warm-up exercise, carry out one or two activities with the children that will strengthen their skills and abilities related to creative drama. They can then improvise in pairs a short scene that will help them gain further understanding of the theme of this lesson, working hard for the benefit of others. While all the children are seated, take them through the following scene, encouraging them to embellish it with their imaginations by asking them questions such as, “What do the characters look like?”, “What actions are they carrying out?”, and “What expressions are on their faces?”. In this way, you will assist them in working out the details of the scene before they begin their improvisations.
A king is traveling through the countryside and sees a very old man working in a field. The king is surprised to see such an old man so hard at work and asks the man what he is doing. The old man explains that he is planting fruit trees. The king inquires how long it will take for the trees to bear fruit. The old man tells him it will take a very long time, indeed, and that he will not live to taste the fruit from the trees he is planting. The king is confused. He wants to know why the old man is using his energy to grow fruit that he will never be able to eat. The old man smiles and explains that, in his life, he has eaten fruit from many trees that were planted by others and that he wanted to plant trees for the benefit of those who will come after him. The king is pleased with this answer and gives the old man a gold coin. The old man smiles and tells the king that the trees did not take so long to bear fruit after all. He has hardly finished planting them and already they have brought him a reward from the king.
CONTENT TO BE UPLOADED SOON
DOWNLOAD COMPONENTS HERE
As a craft we made some lovely little bird feeders – reminding ourselves, that we can extend our service to include the animal kingdom too Cut out from egg cartons, decorated and attached with some string, they hand in the trees, full of breadcrumbs for the birds to feed on
SERVICE PROJECT IDEAS
Make a cupcake out of socks and send to a retirement home. We did this and it was so well received. My photo is lost but here is the original video we based it on. The second time we did this project, we purchased cupcake liners as time was short, and did not make our own. You will need stiff cardstock liners if you go looking, not the regular paper ones.
Wash rag in a small flowerpot: this one was so easy we did not use felt but used green tissue paper to surround the flower like a gift
AN ENDLESS CARD
Service to humanity is a daily endeavor. we don’t stop. with this in mind, let us make an endless card. they are cool and moderately easy. I will try to upload one related to less soon. In the meantime take a look and maybe you can send me YOUR template and photo to add to this craft!
SOME MORE IDEAS
Make Things For Your Community:
Knit scarves or hats for families in shelters.
Bake cookies and snacks for food pantries.
It is suggested that you review with the children the quotation they memorized from
today’s lesson, after which you can help them recite the following quotations that they learned in
Grade 1 about faithfulness and truthfulness:
Happy is the faithful one who is attired with the vesture of high endeavor and hath arisen to serve this CauseBahá’u’lláh
Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues‘Abd’u’l-Bahá