Leave it better than you found it
3 and 4
'Leave it better than you found it.' Responding to an exciting planet.
You will need to prepare:
- Slides or OHP transparencies of:
- A beautiful scene from nature
- A happy, well-fed human
- A technological development
- Slides or OHP transparencies of:
- Need and deprivation
- Industrial wasteland
- The effects of pollution
- A reading:
- From Psalm 104 or
- 'The Grandeur of God' by Gerard Manley Hopkins
- A series of boards, each with a word from the sentence 'ALL' 'HAVE' 'A' 'PART' 'TO' 'PLAY' and six students to hold them up. The students should sit together at the front, then, at the appropriate moment, stand one by one and turn to the audience to reveal their message.
- Examples of good and bad aspects of life and the world from newspapers or current affairs broadcasts.
We find ourselves on a wonderfully exciting planet which we have done nothing to create. During our lifetime we will enjoy it and use its resources. We shall find that at times it is unfriendly to us, that disease or deprivation and physical or emotional hurt come our way, or the way of others who share it with us.
Choose one of the two mentioned above.
Show slides 1 and 2 above.
In almost all respects the world is a better place to live in than it was in the past.
Quote examples relevant to the students. These could be, for example, medical, technological or educational examples.
Today a greater proportion of the world's population is healthier, better fed, better educated, more aware of others and their needs and more compassionate than has been the case in the past.
This has largely been brought about by improved communications and technological developments.
It does not, though, make us better than previous generations. We are simply more fortunate. Being more fortunate also gives us greater responsibility. We cannot be complacent; there is still so much to be done, as any news broadcast or newspaper will show.
Quote current examples.
Genesis 2:15 - 'The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to till and to keep it.'
Christians believe that they share with God in the work of creation. In the account of Creation at the beginning of the Bible, in the book of Genesis, God begins his work and rests on the seventh day.
But, importantly, the humans of his creation alter places in the garden to develop and preserve it. This means that we all have a role to play. Through history, men and women have taken this role very seriously. Every achieverment of the human race for good, in art, music, culture, science, technology, medicine, politics and in so many more areas, can be seen as a development of God's first act of creation. He has given us a rich resource: this planet and its people.
We inhabit this planet for a comparatively short time. During that time:
- It is our right and privilege to enjoy it.
- It is our duty and responsibility to improve it for others both now and in the future.
Each one of us can make a difference by removing a current problem or by developing and expanding something that is already good. This could be something quite small: a concern for the environment, recycling of used materials, not causing litter or pollution, 'blowing the whistle' on vandals and vandalism. Or it could be a larger concern, such as joining Amnesty International to work for the release of political prisoners and for the implementation of human rights.
Quote local examples here. Signal to the helpers to raise the signs, and give the signal after the next sentence.
One thing is for sure: (Students turn one by one to the rest of the school and raise signs.) 'ALL HAVE A PART TO PLAY'
Lord, we are grateful for the world that you have given us, and for the skill and inspiration
of those men and women who have developed it.
May we always be on the look out for ways to make it even better, so that all may enjoy it to the full.
REEP (RE and Environment Project) has useful material for further work in the secondary curriculum materials section, including an Ecoquiz and a unit on responsibility for the environment. www.reep.org