CROSS THE RIVER OF LIFE
Draw a line dividing the room into two. One side of the line is the river and the other side is the land.
One person becomes the coast guard and stands near the line in the river. All the kids, except the coast guard, will start by being in the river of life and have a paper pinned or stuck on them with either values or bad action written on it. (egs. Loves others, talks softly, helpful, peaceful, mean, tells lies, hurtful, beats animals, jealous, angry).
The game begins with the kids asking the guard’s permission to cross the river to reach land. The guard has to say, “Not unless you have something good on you.” All the values will cross the river and reach the other side of the line which is land.
The others have to try to cross the river and if the guard catches them they are out of the game. If any child with bad behavior written on the paper manages to cross the river and reach land, then all the good value kids on land will try to catch him and send him back to the river. Let the children play and enjoy for a while.
Then the teacher analyzes:
(Ask children subtle probing questions that will lead to these answers, instead of the teacher directly telling without children’s participation)
1. One side of the river is the world. Our life is entwined with our desires, emotions, feelings, thoughts, habits, attitude towards self and others. It has the good mixed with the bad.
2. The other side we cross to is towards God, which is the Goal of our Life and human birth.
3. The coast guard is our conscience, which allows good to enter and take us closer to God. It tries to catch and put away the bad to save us from doing wrong in life. But sometimes our conscience is not very vigilant. How do we keep it vigilant? Talk about contemplation on God and following Swami as role model.
4. Why did the good send away the bad? Talk about Swami emphasizing the significance of always being in good company. ABC of life is always be careful, says Swami. Talk how….. by keeping a unity between our thoughts, words and deeds.
Questions you may ask:
1. What are the two sides of this river? Why does one side have good and bad and the other only good?
2. Who is the coast guard?
3. Why do you think the guard did not succeed in stopping all the bad from crossing?
4. Why did the good chase away the bad who somehow managed to cross the river and reach land?
5. How do we make this coast guard more alert?