This is a powerful story and lesson for us all.
A high school class is learning about the Salem Witch Trials. Their teacher told them they were going to play a game.
“I’m going to come around and whisper to each of you whether you’re a witch or a regular person. Your goal is to build the largest group possible that does NOT have a witch in it. At the end, any group found to include a witch gets a failing grade.”
The teens dove into grilling each other. One fairly large group formed, but most of the students broke into small, exclusive groups, turning away anyone they thought gave off even a hint of guilt.
“Okay,” the teacher said. “You’ve got your groups. Time to find out which ones fail. All witches, please raise your hands.”
No one raised a hand. The kids were confused and told the teacher he’d messed up the game. “Did I?” He asked.
“Was anyone in Salem an actual witch? Or did everyone just believe what they’d been told?” And that is how you show kids how easy it is to divide a Community. Shunning, scapegoating, placing blame and dividing will each destroy far more than they will protect.H/T Irish Ranger
Whether the story is true or not, does not matter. It is easy to imagine groups of adults, even ourselves doing this. In fact, with a little reflection, there are probably places in our lives we can see ourselves behaving this way at the moment.
As Sue reminds us, Pause. See differently. Re-story