It’s easy to be friends with people who are just like us. But it can be much harder to become friends with those who are different from us. You might notice that your peers at school tend to form groups that accept certain people with shared interests but reject others. This can cause hurt feelings and loneliness for those who don’t feel accepted by the group. As you watch this video, think about a time when someone made you feel accepted even though you did not fit in with the group.
Share this video with your students [3:17; start at 0:11; stop at 1:41]:
Teens Approach Autistic Boy At Skatepark And Perform Act Of Kindness
- Why do you think the 5-year-old boy’s mother was so touched by the teens’ interactions with her son? (She knows how good it made her son feel to be accepted; she was surprised by the thoughtfulness of the older children.)
- How do you think the boy felt after the older kids interacted with him? (Accepted, valued, a part of the group, empowered, etc.)
Treating others as equals can have many lasting positive effects in our lives and the lives of others. Just like the teen stated in the video, he remembered a time when someone was kind and accepting of him, and he wanted to pay it forward in the same way. Similarly, we can all think of a time when we felt rejected by a group and how that made us feel. Being welcomed or ostracized sticks with us for the rest of our lives.
- When have you faced a time that you did not feel accepted? (Answers will vary but might include new school, sports, clubs, activities, etc. As your teens respond, record their answers on the whiteboard or screenshared document.)
- When have you faced a time that someone made you feel accepted even though you did not fit in with the group? (Answers will vary. As your teens respond, record their answers on the whiteboard or screenshared document.)
Just like the teens in the video, we can show respect to others by treating them equally and exhibiting the love of Christ to everyone. This is just one way that we can build others up in their faith and work together for the kingdom of God. Let’s find out more reasons why God calls us to accept others as equals.