Every week on Thursday afternoons, the kids get very excited to have “Virtues” class. Wang Ayi, an educator from the neighborhood, gives this special class and covers a new virtue each week. Today, the kids were learning about Truthfulness, or honesty. The children listened with interest.
First, Wang Ayi asked the students, “What is honesty?”
The kids had a little trouble answering...the question seemed a bit too abstract. Wang Ayi had it covered, though. She showed the kids some pictures and gave examples, explaining that honesty means: "to always tell the truth, even when it's hard."
She showed a picture of a broken vase, a broken window. After showing all four of the pictures, the students knew: if we break something, we should still always tell the truth about it!
Wang Ayi asked, “Do people like othes who don’t tell the truth?”
The children answered, “No Ayi.”
Ayi again: “Do people like people who do tell the truth?”
Ayi: “Why? Because if they always tell the truth, we know we can trust them.”
Then Wang Ayi led the children in a practical exercise. She brought out some blocks and gave the children a task: take three minutes and use the pieces to build a house.
Everyone immediately got to work, but it was--predictably--chaos! With twenty little ones trying to build one house all at once, they didn't get very far.
The reason: they weren't working together. After three minutes had passed without a house being build, Wang Ayi selected three children who would represent the entire class to cooperate with each other and build the house. She also gave them a big block "foundation" upon which to build it. The foundation had the word “truthfulness” written on it.
After 3 minutes: a nice and stable house!
Then Wang Ayi asked two of the students to help her try to take away the "foundation" of the house without destroying it. The kids soon discovered this was completely impossible. Once they moved the base, the house started to fall.
She repeated the same thing with a few other students. Of course, each time the house would fall down when they tried to remove the foundation.
Wang Ayi explained: A foundation is essential to building a house, just like honesty is an essential foundation of any relationships you build in life. The children seemed pretty enthralled by her conclusion.
To end the class, everyone got a chance to color their own pictures with examples of the virtue, "honesty."
Thanks to Wang Ayi for a wonderful class!