How Big Is The World?
Let’s compare our lives today, with the lives of our great-grandparents. One big difference between us is the amount of information and news available. If we want, we can read or listen to news about current events all day long on the radio, on TV, on the internet or in print. But many of our great-grandparents did not have this chance for news.
How does all the news affect you? Do you like to listen to or read a lot of news each day? What are your main sources of news? Does news tend to depress you? Or inspire you? Or does news make you want to take actions or get involved politically? When you read about flood or hurricane victims, do you pray or send money? Or do you store the news away in your mind? Do you like to discuss current events with family, friends or others? How often do you discuss current events?
Give an example of something you read or heard in the news recently that was interesting to you. Explain why it’s interesting.
Disneyland has a very old and popular ride called “It’s A Small World.” There are beautiful international dolls from around the world. The meaning is that, although there are many different cultures, still the world is full of humans who are more similar than they are different. Do you feel that the world is a small place or a large place? When you meet people from different countries, or read about different cultures, do you think we have a lot in common with each other? Please give examples. Or do you notice how very different we are? Please give examples. How does international news affect your thinking about whether the world is small or large? If not news, what influences your thinking about the “size” of the world?
Psychoanalyst, Erich Fromm, wrote in his well-known book, The Art of Loving, “Love of one person implies love of mankind as such. The kind of “division of labor,” by which one loves one’s family but is without feeling for the “stranger,” is a sign of a basic inability to love.” (pg 54) Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
Micah, a prophet, writes in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“With what shall I come to the Lord, and bow myself before the God on high? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings? . . . .
He has told you, O man, what is good: And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness and walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:6, 8
What do you think of these three values - justice, kindness and walking in humility with God? What would you propose as the three most important values?