Shared Rituals: Fasting

The purpose of this discussion is to help your child see how sharing rituals can help people stay connected to their community.

Every group – especially every faith – stays connected because they agree on what is important. Sports teams really value working hard and supporting one another. Educational groups value learning and mutual support. Scouting groups value trustworthiness and preparedness. These communities always have ways of reminding members about how important these values are. These rituals might be pledges or ceremonies or even standard ways of greeting one another.

Many faiths value gratitude, humility and generosity. They want us to appreciate that others may not be as lucky as we are. So they establish holidays – special times when everyone in the group agrees to live life differently for a while.

  • What would you feel or think if, starting right now, I said you couldn’t have any food for a whole day?
  • Would it make a difference if everyone around you had lots of food? Would it make it more difficult?
  • What if your community agreed to fast together, but one of you friends decided to not participate. They decided to eat anything they wanted – all day. Why do you think they might do that? Would you do that?
  • Do you think going hungry intentionally helps people empathize with people in the world who are living in poverty?
  • When the fast is over, do you think you might see things differently than you did before the fast?

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