We light our chalice for the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
We used those words from Chalica to light our chalice. I really like her phrasing, so you will see them under each of the candles this week. After lighting the chalice, I read the following words from Jean M. Rowe:
We have a calling in this world:
we are called to honor diversity,
to respect differences with dignity,
and to challenge those who forbid it.
We are people of a wide path.
Let us be wide in affection
and go our way in peace.
My original plan had been to follow Chalica's idea of writing thank-you cards celebrating our differences. Unfortunately, life didn't allow us that much time. Since we were at the dinner table, I had each family member think of a person who really bothers them. We then went around and shared what it was. They were not allowed to use the name of the person, just what actions that person said or did that they didn't like or agree with. After we each shared them, we discussed why they might be like that. Perhaps, they thought they were being helpful or their parents taught them differently or they were under a lot of stress. I then had everyone say something positive about the person they didn't get along with. My examples were: "this person bothers me because she gossips a lot and I don't like that." My positive was, "this person also has a huge heart and would do anything for someone in need." It was great to see the kids really think about their person and find something truly positive in them. We also turned the table on ourselves and thought, maybe, just maybe, someone thought WE were different, too.
My hope was that the kids (and adults) would realize that even though someone is different and we may not understand them, they are just as important as we are. They have just as much right to their opinions as we do. It was a very good discussion and I could tell everyone at the table had a moment of understanding for their "different" person. I hope that this translates into better acceptance of those who may not see the world as we do.