LESSON 21: THE QUALITIES OF CONSULTATION
When people come together to consult, they share their ideas with the 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 importantly, 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.
For lessons 19 to 21 we will continue to memorize the prayer below
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.
O God, our Lord! We sing Thy praise, bear witness to Thy sanctity and implore fervently the heaven of Thy mercy to make us lights of guidance, stars shining above the horizons of eternal glory amongst mankind, and to teach us a knowledge which proceedeth from Thee.
Listen to the prayer
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You may wish to draw on the following ideas in presenting the quotation the children are expected to learn today:
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 importantly, 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. Of course, in the way ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke to others, we see the perfect example of how people should consult together. He was detached, patient, and humble.
He always encouraged others to talk and listened with calm attentiveness. He never argued or insisted on an idea. One friend who lived at the time of the Master wrote that He spoke: “as if offering a gift to a king”. Imagine you were giving a gift to a king. With kindness and gentleness, you would present your gift. When we share our ideas with one another, we do the same, wherever we are, whatever we are doing—in our classes here together, with our family and friends, at home and school. To help us remember some of the beautiful qualities we try to show when we speak with another one, let us memorize the following quotation:
They must then proceed with the utmost devotion, courtesy, dignity, care and moderation to express their views‘Abdu’l-Bahá
MEANING OF WORDS
1. Paulo saw that there was a large tree blocking the road ahead. He could not move forward because of the tree. He could not proceed.
2. After children finish their classes for Grade 1, they move on to those for Grade 2. After Grade 1, children proceed to Grade 2.
1. When Soraya prays, she shows her love for God and her wish to follow His teachings. When she prays, Soraya shows her devotion to God.
2. Mark gets up early every morning and works hard all day. Mark shows great devotion to his work.
1. When Lillian recites prayers, she sits up straight and uses a calm, clear voice, knowing
that the Word of God is precious. When Lillian says prayers, she shows dignity.
2. Amos was playing a game with other children, and one of them knocked him over by
mistake. Amos did not get upset and told his friend not to worry. Amos responded with dignity.
1. The human body must have the right amount of nourishment. If we eat too much or too
little, our bodies will not be healthy. We must eat with moderation.
2. Bhojraj likes to ride his bike very fast down the hill. His mother told him to slow down or
he might fall and hurt himself. Bhojraj’s mother wants him to use moderation when
riding his bike.
MEMORIZATION AID FOR QUOTE
PICTURES TO REMEMBER THE QUOTE HERE
Now explain to the children that you are going to tell them a story that will help them understand the importance of exercising moderation in one’s speech.
During His visit to the West, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and a group of friends met with a man who was writing an article about the Bahá’í Faith. The man had many long and complicated questions, mainly about the history of the Faith. Throughout the interview, the Master sat quietly, listening with patient attention to the man’s inquiries. Now, his questions were
quite lengthy indeed, and the man seemed to talk on and on. He did not seem to realize the importance of moderation. Only every so often did he pause long enough for others to say a few words, sometimes no more than a yes or no.
Most of the friends in the room grew impatient—but not ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. He sat perfectly relaxed, His eyes full of love and understanding. If the man hesitated for a moment, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke briefly in reply to his question and then waited courteously for him to continue.
At last, the man finished speaking, and there was a long silence. Then ‘Abdu’l-Bahá addressed the man with great dignity and care. His melodious voice filled the air. In only a few short minutes, the man was transformed. His heart had been touched by the Master’s gentle and loving words. Now he could see the spirit of the Faith. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá rose, warmly embraced the man and walked with him to the door. At the doorway He paused. A large bunch of roses brought by one of the friends had caught His eye. So large was the bunch and so long the stems that they had to be placed in a stand for umbrellas. No vase was big enough to hold them. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá gathered the flowers in His arms and presented them to His guest. The man’s head could barely be seen peeking out above the mountain of flowers, but the joy radiating from his face could not be missed. Sometimes a few words said with thoughtful care are all that is needed.
Draw any part of the story
DRAMA / GAMES
After carrying out some warm-up exercises, similar to those in previous lessons, the children can undertake the following activity, which is intended to help them think about the qualities mentioned in the quotation they memorized earlier.
First, ask the children to imagine they are offering a gift to a king or queen. How do they hold the gift? How do they approach the king or queen? What tone of voice do they take? What words do they choose? Then divide the children into pairs, and have one child in each pair pretend to be the king or queen and the other the gift-bearer. They can then switch roles. Afterward, gather the children together and ask them some questions:
How did they show courtesy?
How did they demonstrate care?
What did it mean for them to conduct themselves with dignity?
Help them think through how their words and actions became a reflection of these qualities.
Next ask the pairs to improvise a few short scenarios, in which they will demonstrate the
same qualities discussed above. You should think of some situations suited to the capacity of the students in your class. For instance, one child could pretend to be an older brother or sister helping a younger sibling in his or her efforts to learn a short quotation by heart.
In another scenario, two children could be trying to decide what game to play—one wanting to play a particular game and the other wanting to play something else. With your help, the pairs can embellish the scenarios with the relevant details before acting them out.
Remind them, as they do so, how they spoke and acted when offering the gift to the king or queen.
Content coming soon
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LISTENING: HAVE YOU EVER MADE A “TELEPHONE” OUT OF TIN CANS AND A PIECE OF TWINE?
Well, you really need to know how to listen and take turns talking for the telephone to work.
- Two empty cans (like one’s canned pears or beans come in)
- Twine, about 3 to 4 meters. Longer is even more fun
Make a hole in the bottom of each can
Pass the twine from the bottom to the inside of the can and tie in a knot. (The knot is inside the can) Do the same for the other can.
now stretch the twine out by holding on to and moving the cans apart. Hold the can to your ear to listen, or to your mouth to speak.
Here is a website where they made the telephones with fruit cups
Make some talking lips and start consulting!
Based on the story, make a rose, then combine everyone’s roses and give it as a gift to someone.
Make a prayer book with all 7 prayers from grade 2
Today was a celebration of all the things we learned over the last 21 lessons of Grade 2 – wow!
Over this past year, we have worked our way through 7 different themes:
- OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S LAWS
- SEEKING KNOWLEDGE
- LIVING IN HARMONY
- BEING A GOOD FRIEND
All of them represent patterns of conduct, that show the inner qualities of the virtues we studied in Grade 1.
It’s been quite a journey.
To remember the 7 prayers the children have memorized as part of these lessons, You can compile them, if you have not already done so, into a special prayer book. Here is a link to all quotes and prayers. You can also print out all the postcards developed for grade 2
It is suggested that you review with the children the quotation they memorized earlier today, before asking them to recite the two below they learned in Grade 1 related to sincerity and detachment:
We should at all times manifest our truthfulness and sincerity . . .
Know that thy true adornment consisteth in the love of God and in thy detachment from all save Him . . .BThe Summons of the Lord of Hosts