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A Joyful Path, Year Three – Week 30: My Locations — Story: Hand-Me-Downs

For Classroom or Home School

Week 30: Spring
Lesson 24: My Locations 

I know who I am in this Earth

Getting to the Heart of the Lesson

Each one of us holds multiple “locations.” Many lessons in A Joyful Path,Year 3 have reminded us we are located within a vast, beautiful, intricate and expanding universe! We are also located on particular land masses, in regions and cities or villages that have particular names, cultures, and characteristics. The weather patterns, water, plants, trees and animals surrounding us establish our locations within various ecosystems, as well.

In this lesson, we want to provide opportunities to better appreciate two of our locations: our social location and our location as a species in Earth’s larger living system. When we truly appreciate the power of these locations, an important shift happens. Knowing who we are, where we come from, and what that means in a society allows us to address any imbalances — to practice redistribution so all may have equity and abundance. Similarly, when we comprehend how our species affects the larger living system, we can take responsibility for our impact and create life-giving reciprocity instead of destruction.

Teacher Reflection/Activity

Some reading and a 10-20 min exercise (more if you have time and wish to take it) so you are able to experience the teachings offered through this lesson.

Sociologist and author Lynn Weber describes the topic of this lesson like this:

An individual’s social location is defined as the combination of factors including gender, race, social class, age, ability, religion, sexual orientation and geographic location.

Understanding our social location and the amount of power or privilege we carry in human society, really matters as we do our best to bring justice and live a spiritually fulfilling life. When we are overly consumed by trying to “get it right,” we can fall into judgment, perfectionism or self-doubt that prevent us from having meaningful relationships and embodying who we are as members in the great family of Creation. To better appreciate (and celebrate) the integration of our social and cosmic locations, please play with both of the activities for this lesson (below) and share what you are noticing with those you love.

Read through the lesson before your time with the children. Decide which Activity Exploration will work best for your class (There are usually two options; choose one.). Just below the heading, “Children’s Lesson and Story” you will find the preparations checklist for this lesson so you can collect any needed materials or make arrangements to support your selected activity.

Sacred Text Quotes

Hebrew Scriptures. Genesis 12:1 (NRSV)

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.

Hebrew Scriptures. Job 12:7-10 (NRSV)

But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being.

Christian Scriptures. Galatians 3:28 (NRSV)

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

Christian Scriptures. Matthew 12:46-50 (NRSV)

While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and of power or privilege we carry in human society,

I know who I am in this Earth really matters as we do our best to bring justice family. and live a spiritually fulfilling life. When we are overly consumed by trying to “get it right,” we can fall into judgment, perfectionism or self-doubt that prevent us from having meaningful relationships and embodying who we are as members in the great family of Creation. To better appreciate (and celebrate) the integration of our social and cosmic locations, please play with both of the activities for this lesson (below) and share what brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Islam. Qur’an 4.100

He who forsakes his home in the cause of God, finds in the earth many a refuge, wide and spacious, should he die as a refugee from home for God and His Apostle, his reward becomes due and sure with God: and God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

Shinto. Oracle of Atsuta

Allyeunderheaven! Regard heaven as your father, earth as your mother, and all things as your brother and sisters.

Wisdom Quotes

What is most personal is most universal. ― Carl R. Rogers

One of our people in the Native community said the difference between white people and Indians is that Indian people know they are oppressed but don’t feel powerless. White people don’t feel oppressed, but feel powerless. Deconstruct that disempowerment. Part of the mythology that they’ve been teaching you is that you have no power. Power is not brute force and money; power is in your spirit. Power is in your soul. It is what your ancestors, your old people gave you. Power is in the earth; it is in your relationship to the earth. ― Winona LaDuke

You do not have to be me in order for us to fight alongside each other. I do not have to be you to recognize that our wars are the same. What we must do is commit ourselves to some future that can include each other and to work toward that future with the particular strengths of our individual identities. And in order for us to do this, we must allow each other our differences at the same time as we recognize our sameness. ― Audre Lorde

So many indigenous people have said to me that the fundamental difference between Western and indigenous ways of being is that even the most open-minded westerners generally view listening to the natural world as a metaphor, as opposed to the way the world really is. Trees and rocks and rivers really do have things to say to us. ― Derrick Jensen, What We Leave Behind

Be sure to click here to download the Teaching Introduction and Instructions.

Review & Commentary