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Connections - Easter Island
This Collective Worship includes elements from the REEP primary module 'The Case of Easter Island'. Other material from other modules can be adapted in a similar way, and added to, giving the potential for a series.
This is a good subject for one class to present to the whole school, perhaps after having done the Easter Island module. You could make a shorter session by using just the story or just the play. If you had the opportunity of drawing a large Easter Island statue this could be added to the island.
To explore human greed and how it affects the environment.
Pin up a large cloth or piece of paper, with a large map of an island cut out on it. Attach about 50 paper trees to the cloth. Five children come onto the scene :
First inhabitant: Great! A new home. Let's move in!
Second inhabitant: Yes, we can use these trees to make houses.
Each child of the five children takes a tree and moves to the side, standing near the 'island'.
Narrator: Fifty years pass...children have been born on the island, the people are happy, they are building houses and are even making great stone statues for the island.
More children come onto the scene in pairs. Each takes a tree.
Child: Our families have had to build new houses for us.
Child: And we need more fish to feed us.
Everyone takes another tree. The island is beginning to look bare.
Narrator: Another fifty years passes..
Everyone: More houses... more boats.
Continue until the island is bare.
Everyone: (looking around, horrified) WHAT DO WE DO NOW?
Another voice: Yes, what do they do now? Some will fight and some will die of hunger and some will move out. Just look at that Island, it's no place to live.
Narrator: It really happened, on a place called Easter Island in Polynesia. And now Easter Island is mainly known for its abandoned statues, looking out over the sea for the people that disappeared. Easter Island is far away but it could happen anywhere - and it does. Why? It's got a lot to do with ignorance - and greed. You see, they never put anything back for what they took.
An Islamic story:
'Once upon a time a holy man came to the court of a great King with a beggar's bowl and asked the King if he could fill his little bowl.
The King looked at the holy man with disdain and thought to himself: 'Why is this holy man asking me, a rich and powerful king, to fill his tiny little bowl?' He proudly and confidently said, 'Yes, I will fill your bowl!'
But the bowl was not an ordinary bowl - it was a magic bowl. Hundreds and thousands and millions were poured into it; but it simply would not fill up. It always remained half empty - its mouth wide open for more and yet more!
When trying to fill it made the King begin to feel poor, he said: 'O Holy Man, tell me - you are not a magician and is this not a magic bowl? It has swallowed up my treasures and yet it is still empty.'
The holy man answered quietly: 'O King, if the whole world's treasure was put into it, it would still remain empty. Do you know what this bowl is? It is the 'want' of human beings'.
(From: Faiths for a Future p.85)
In a moment of quiet, let us think of what is important in our lives.
What do we need to take care of? There are so many things we would like. What things are we greedy about? What do we do that creates problems for other people, especially our neighbours, and the place where we live?
What is really important? It's a big question. Help to know the answer. [pause]
And now let's finish by praying for help in living a life that does not harm others and where our happiness comes from who we are, not what we have.
To be played at the beginning and end of the session:
Polynesian music, e.g Track 10 from The Thin Red Line soundtrack of the original
motion picture by Hans Zimmer. Polynesian Choir singing God U Tekem Laef Blong Mi,
RCA Victor 09026 633822
from Polynesian Odyssey by the Tubuai Choir, Shanachie 64049