"The Story of Stuff" for Baha'i Youth

Submitted by Christine Muller on 9. March 2017 - 21:16

The Story of Stuff for Baha'i Youth

from Christine Muller

We are excited to share with you new study materials for Baha'i Junior Youth on the popular video The Story of Stuff.

This six session course is a grassroots effort to provide supplemental materials to the Ruhi Junior Youth Empowerment Program addressing the specific needs of youth in the industrialized world. There is a tremendous need to help our youth cope with a culture of consumerism and to help them grow up to be responsible world citizens. The course assists young people to see the reality of the world we live in, reveals to them some of the many injustices underlying the old world order, and encourages them to respond in a spiritual way, to live with ethical principles, and to serve the common good.

This link will bring you to all the materials of the course, the Introduction and the Lesson Plans for Sessions 1 to 6: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BwY9hsngOdVGZnZpZFdGZmp1Vk0?usp…

The topics discussed in the course are tangible examples of exactly those issues raised by the Universal House of Justice in its Comments on the Path of Economic Well-being (1 March 2017). The Story of Stuff illustrates how our world is interconnected and sheds light on “the social conditions of every people” and “their circumstances”. The House reminds us to exemplify spiritual qualities such as contentment and moderation and then continues:

The forces of materialism promote a quite contrary line of thinking: that happiness comes from constant acquisition, that the more one has the better, that worry for the environment is for another day. These seductive messages fuel an increasingly entrenched sense of personal entitlement, which uses the language of justice and rights to disguise selfinterest. Indifference to the hardship experienced by others becomes commonplace while entertainment and distracting amusements are voraciously consumed. The enervating influence of materialism seeps into every culture, and all Baha'is recognize that, unless they strive to remain conscious of its effects, they may to one degree or another unwittingly adopt its ways of seeing the world.

The course materials aim to help youth to understand and put in practice the guidance of the Universal House of Justice.

The Baha'i version of the course is based on the original Christian and Jewish editions. In addition to presenting the Baha'i perspectives, we have also made an effort to make the materials more user friendly.

While the course lays out the Baha'i perspectives on the issue, it is interfaith in spirit and therefore lends itself especially well to be used with your wider community of interest.

This is the first edition of the course. We are asking you to help spread the word about it. When you use it, please, provide us with feedback. What worked and what didn't? How would you like to see the course improved? We invite feedback from youth, facilitators, youth animators, parents, teachers, and others by the end of July 2017. We will then review and improve the course and send it to the people of the Story of Stuff website where it will be published and accessible to everyone. Once published on their website along the Christian and Jewish versions, we hope that the course will also contribute to meaningful public discourse.

Feel free to contact us for any questions that may arise or if you need assistance with the course at BahaiStoryofStuff@gmail.com. We are looking forward to your feedback and hope that many young people will enjoy the course.

Last updated 9 March 2017