I apologize for the delay. We just bought a house and then my dear sweet husband promptly left for Haifa, Israel for 3 weeks of consulting work. It has been a wonderful, exciting, challenging period, and we are so very grateful for what Baha'u'llah has so graciously handed us. Now back to children's class!
We have completed two classes on truthfulness since last I updated. Both times we spent a good amount of time discussing Baha'ullah's quotation:
"Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues. Without truthfulness, progress and success, in all the worlds of God, are impossible for any soul."
We talked about what a foundation on a building is and how important it is for the integrity of the entire structure. It supports everything above; without it, the entire building crumbles. In the same way, truthfulness supports all the other virtues. Without truthfulness, true love, patience, justice, kindness, etc. cannot exist. The example that seemed to resonate with the children was that of a child giving a gift, but changing their mind and taking it back. The child may have been pretending to be generous, but without truthfulness there really wasn't any generosity at all. Such is the case with all the other virtues. And what a serious consequence: our souls cannot grow without truthfulness.
Last week, we read The Empty Pot during the first class, in which a little boy in China becomes emperor after proving himself truthful. During art, the children each got a set of construction paper shapes (ie. blocks) which they used to design and assemble their own buildings. They had to consider which 'block' should be the foundation and write 'truthfulness' on it. They also each wrote out the entire quotation on the back, some without assistance and some tracing dotted lines. It was challenging and they were quite proud of their final products.
This week we watched a Eunice and Eliot puppet show and had a great time playing, 'Who ate the cookie from the cookie jar?' We all got to practice telling the truth about whether we actually had the cookie or not. During art (mostly because I was unprepared) we made another building, but this time the children cut out their own blocks and collaborated to create one giant building. I had taped a few pieces of paper together and hung them on a wall. They got really into this, ultimately deciding that their building would be an underwater seafood restaurant/church catering to monsters. Good times, I tell you.
There were a few different combinations of kids lately due to absences, and I must say it is helpful to observe how differently children behave when the group dynamics are altered. It is a good reminder of how complex we human beings are, and also how superficial behavior can be. And how those behaviors do not in any way add up to our realities. But isn't that the work of spiritual education? To gradually align our outsides with our insides until eventually, in one of the worlds of God, they mirror each other perfectly. To be truthful to our inner reality.