Religious Exploration for Youth – Beacon At Home
“Horton Hears A UU: Life Lessons from Dr. Seuss”
April 26, 2020 – “The Zax”
“For I live by a rule that I learned as a boy back in south-going school. Never budge! That’s my rule, Never budge in the least! Not an inch to the west! Not an inch to the east! I’ll stay here, not budging! I can and I will if it make you and me and the whole world stand still!”
The Zax are terrible role models for how to solve conflicts! But their story, “The Zax,” is a great way to start a discussion about conflict resolution. The Zax are two single-minded characters, one who wants to go north, and the other who wants to go south. When they meet face-to-face on the north-south path, neither one will budge. At all. Ever. They are stubborn and will not cooperate. A highway ends up being built over them!
AFFIRMATION: I can learn how to work through differences and disagreements. I can “compromise.”
Watch an animated version of the story on Youtube: https://youtu.be/dZmZzGxGpSs
Use the handout sheet (pdf) to think more about what happens to the Zax in the story.
Conflict is when people don’t agree. It gets worse when they are stubborn and will not work out the problem together (like the Zax!)
The Trick Question about conflict:
- Is conflict good or bad? (Neither. Conflicts just happen. They are part of life.)
- What could be good or bad? (The choices we make.)
When conflict gets worse we say it __________. (escalates); When conflict gets better we say it __________. (de-escalates)
Go over rules/expectations for solving conflicts. Ask students why each rule is necessary if you want to solve a conflict. Peace Education Foundation created the poster below.
- We find out what the problem is.
- We attack the problem, not the person.
- We listen to each other.
- We care about each others’ feelings.
- We are responsible for what we say and do.
Explore these Life Lessons:
What did each of the Zax want? What was the conflict? Did they get what they wanted? What made the conflict worse? Which rules didn’t the Zax follow? How could following the rules have helped?
Talking about “Pride”
The Zax asks us to confront the concepts of pride and compromise. We must determine whether pride is a positive or negative quality to have and whether the Zax should have comprised in order for progress towards their destinations.
Can pride sometimes be a good thing? When is it not a good thing?
What does “compromise” mean? Is it the same as “giving in?”
The Zax and the UU principles:
Discuss our 2nd principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations, and our 5th principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all.H How do these principles relate to the Zax?
Role play working out a conflict with someone in your family using the rules for fighting fair.
Building Bridges Class this Sunday!
Since last fall, we have studied the following religions: Unitarian Universalism, Judaism, Buddhism, Catholicism, The Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), Islam, Navajo Spiritual Beliefs, Hinduism, Scientology, and Atheism. What a stellar collection of religions! I commend you for going on this journey with us! During our next class, we would like to reflect on these religions and consider: What does it all mean?
We look forward to seeing you at our Zoom Meeting Sunday at 10am. (links and passwords are in the newsletter)
Please consider the questions listed below before class and be prepared to talk together about the answers. Remember that there are no WRONG answers here. The opinions and thoughts will be as different as you are!
Questions to Consider:
- What was the most memorable religion for you and why?
- Do you find any similarities between each of the religions we studied?
- Which religion’s beliefs about what happens after you die makes the most sense to you and why?
- How is a Bar Mitzvah like our UU Coming of Age Ceremony and how is it different?
- What do you remember about Navajo spiritual beliefs?
- What were the main takeaways from the visit to the Mosque in February and our study of Islam?
- Buddhists see attachment as a cause of suffering? Do you agree with this idea?
- Is Scientology a religion? Why or why not?
- What do you think of the idea of Karma? How might it benefit or damage a Hindu believer’s life?
- Can you be a moral/ethical person without religion?
- Are societies better off with religion or without? Why?
- Is there one “right” religion?
- What, if anything, would you want to share with others about what you have learned and/or your experience in Building Bridges?