Ethics For Children, Tweens & Teens

Here, young humans empower their ethical development, create life-long freindships, and stand up with care and courage for a GOOD WORLD in action.


Remember this game?
"Mother May I?"

In this game, the leader says "Yes, you may!" -- and you advance through requests, taking 2 steps forward, or one jump .....different actions.
In our month of May, our theme was about DEED -- "Mother, MAY I.... help?"  "Mother Earth, MAY I help?"


Ethics for Children focused on DEED.  Within our larger season's focus on ACTIVISM, this included going on two outings: First the Children's March called NEXT GENERATION NOW and then the AIDS WALK NYC.

Though the rainy muddy day of the Children's March made numbers small on the day of the march, the work we did to understand and prepare for march was significant in itself.  Children learned at Ethical Culture about "the Soap Box" that welcomes "freedom of speech."  We practiced getting up on individually to share our values with others.

We had been developing speeches for a few weeks, with guest writer Deepali and group leader Audrey, about our relationship to trees, and their relationships to animals and humans.   Some children shared their speeches on the soap box in our workshop space, others actually even shared with the WHOLE Ethical community.  Marifer made a wonderful discovery, through observing the shyness of a fellow presenter, that you could just BREATHE on the soapbox, and that that is a kind of message all its own.  This was a spicy discovery, like having a profound secret, or riddle for the audience to decode.

At the Children's March, we enjoyed many of the speakers.  Just being there was a huge challenge for us and the crowd who came since it was pouring rain unrelentingly all day.  Two adult speakers told their stories from the Civil Rights Movement's very own Children's Marches.  They had been young teens who left school to march for racial justice in the south.  Their stories were wonderful, and they emphasized the role of music and song in the experience of social justice work.  Songsters from age 4-20 sang homemade songs about envisioning the future with hope.  "No war," wailed a young boy.  "In the future there will be anything you can imagine," pondered a young girl.  One eight year old girl, stood up for Domestic Workers United, sharing her experience of being the daughter of a woman whose job is to help other families with their children.  She spoke with such dignity of the importance of this job, and the hard work her mother does to achieve it well, and the necessity of fare labor supports.  Another young girl spoke about her immigration from Yemen and the discrimination she has faced in this idealistically open-minded country.  Twins led a teen movement, and for the first time Trump was mentioned.  They are standing up for the role of FACTS in a slippery terrain.  Each child on the stage and in the audience had adults there supporting them.  The intergenerational commitment was life affirming and joyful.

At the AIDS WALK NYC, the weather was fully supportive of our ease. We walked to raise money and awareness, inviting sponsorship from our NYSEC members.  Our group is small but fascinatingly all ages.  The conversation is the human-star-of-learning -- where each of us carry insight and perspective uniquely for the dialogue.  We carried posters of the RED RIBBON symbol -- the first-ever ribbon to represent an illness, as a way to stand up for the right to health care, and health research.  We talked about the terrible disease that had been such a mystery in the 80's, and how scientists play an instrumental role in such a dilemma as this.  Scientists needed to be called upon to research the problem in order to gain understanding and thereby, solutions.  Science in Ethics has been a seasonal theme for our program this past spring, so this was a wonderful example of how science influences the direction of humanity. And since at least one of our "dads" is a scientist, we know first hand, that scientists need to be paid money to support their work, since they are people with lives and families to support.  We talked about how discrimination and "othering" played into delayed action and policy in support for AIDS victims.  We talked about how people died of this disease, and also, how they survived with it.  Indeed, I feel very gratified to say, many survivors I know were out marching today, as they have every year for decades now!

We talked about how important it is for people to care about each others health, and solve the health problems of society.

Balloons were given to us from all directions along our way.  We got gold stars to start.  We walked under balloon bridges.  And finally, when things were winding down, a group carrying an enormous bouquet of red balloons gave us the bouquet.  It was so heavy in its pull toward sky that we had to anchor it down with extra intention.  With any more balloons,  Oberson may have flown upward.

Gratitude to contributors who supported our endeavor, financially!

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