A Monthly Mantra Exploring Wisdom

This week’s Soulful Homes activity lifts up a theme-related mantra for your family to carry with them throughout the month. The authors invite us to think of these “family sayings” as tools for the journey, reminders that help us re-focus and steady ourselves and our kids as we navigate through life’s challenges and opportunities.  Write them on sticky notes to put in your car, on kitchen cabinet fronts, on computer screens and/or your family message board. Share them out loud at home and out in the world, where and whenever the need arises. 

We encourage you to use the “Soulful Homes” activities posted weekly to support your role as the primary religious educators of your children. These activities can help you stay engaged with the monthly theme and support you in carving out spaces for spiritual grounding and family connection. Staff will be including a weekly activity from Soulful Homes or another source once a week on this Family Ministry blog. Please contact me if you have questions, feedback or suggestions on how we can support families during this time of social distancing. Take care.
Rev. Claudia

March’s Mantra: What wisdom does this hold for me?

Sometimes we recognize wisdom right when we encounter it, but more often, it takes careful reflection, a little more life experience, or a good amount of time passing before we come to understand the deeper truth and meaning of what we’ve been part of or witness to.

Still, we know that our experiences–especially the challenging ones–are places where our wisdom is grown. This month, we invite you to keep the mantra in front of you whenever you find yourself facing something unusual or mildly unsettling: What wisdom does this hold for me? 

Asking the question in and of itself can help us shift away from reactionary  thinking and into more critical thinking. It also reminds us that when our beliefs or assumptions get shaken up a bit, it can be an opportunity for us to re-examine old ideas to either be sure they still fit or change them. 

Realizing that you’re late on something you really, really wanted to do on time… “What wisdom does this hold for me?”

Noticing a couple or a parent and child arguing in public… “What wisdom does this hold for me?”

Disagreeing with a friend or acquaintance on a core belief of yours… “What wisdom does this hold for me?”

Again, you may only seldom have an answer, but the question is signaling a readiness to welcome epiphanies and realizations wherever they may be found, even in your challenges.

Exploring Wisdom: At the Table

Welcome to the month of wisdom! At the Table questions from the Soul Matters “Soulful Home” resource explore the monthly theme through a discussion for all ages. They are designed for a family gathering – maybe during a Friday night meal, a quiet moment in the living room or before a board game night.  If you would like to receive the entire booklet with more fun ways to explore wisdom with your family please contact Rev. Claudia at faithdev@uuasheville.org


Family members who are readers can alternate who reads the questions. Those who are not readers are invited to share their own impromptu questions. Discussion partners might answer as thoughts come to them or take turns in a circle. 

  1. Which animals do you think of as wise, and which do you think of as foolish? Why do you think you have those ideas?
  2. Would you rather be wise or friendly, if you had to choose just one?
  3. We often think of professors or ministers as wise, but other workers are also wise in not-always-noticed ways. In what ways might a daycare provider be wise? A carpenter? A guitar player? A farmer? A plumber? A construction worker? A salesperson?
  4. Do you think plants and trees have wisdom? If so, what might it be like? And how do you think they share it with other plants and animals? And us?!
  5. Are people born wise, or do they learn wisdom?
  6. How can you tell good advice from bad advice (in other words, what’s wisdom, and what’s not)?
  7. Whom do you think of as a really wise person among your family’s circle of friends?
  8. Do wise people go around saying how wise they are? (If not, how do you KNOW they’re wise?)
  9. Do you think it’s easy to live wisely? Why or why not?
  10. What’s the most “un-wise” thing that is happening in our world today?
  11. Is wisdom the same as knowing facts? How are they different?
  12. Is it ever wise to admit that you don’t know the answer?
  13. What is a wise thing you know today that you didn’t know a year ago?
  14. Have you ever heard a wise voice rise up from inside you? 
  15. On a scale of 1 to 10, how wise were you today? What did you do or not do that made you give yourself that score? 

Ways to Return to the Discussion Throughout the Week 

Thoughts develop with time. Find opportunities to bring up particularly compelling questions again during the month, maybe on walks, rides home, when tucking your child in to bed, etc. If thoughts grew or changed, notice that together, how we are all evolving beings, opening ourselves to new truths and understandings as we live our lives and connect with others.

SOURCE: Soulful Home