Leadership Program Peula – “achrayut” – Responsibility
Group Size: 5-30
Estimated Time: 90 minutes
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- The Chanich will understand the connection between the trust placed on a person and that person’s mission.
- The chanich will understand that taking responsibility follows giving responsibility, and what are the borders of responsibility.
- An understanding of what is social responsibility, and that its derivative is social action!
- Cards woth different roles written on them
- Green and Red Cards (amount depending on number of chanachim)
- Different Situations (attached)
Written by: Bnei Akiva
Leadership Program Peula – “ACHRAYUT” – Responsibility
One of the strongest and most basic driving forces in action and social involvement is social (awareness and) responsibility; responsibility towards myself as well as my surroundings. One of the toughest problems in our society today is “shouldering off” responsibility. This peula is to strengthen the manhigim-to-be’s responsibility sense, and try to shape it to the right form and shape fitting Bnei Akiva and today’s society.
1. Tell the chanichim they were invited to a party, but do not know who they come as, or what the expectations are from them.
One madrich will be the host. Each (number of rounds is suggested, cooporatiing all the chanichim leaving some as audience) chanich is going to have his role put on his head/back (so that he can’t see, but others can) and enter the party. He will be treated as his role suggests, and he must treat others the way their cards show they are.
2. Give out green and red cards to the chanichim.
Give them different situations and cases in which they have to judge whose fault was it: their’s, or somebody else’s. (the following are only examples – come up with many more as you go along and before hand…) Ask them whose fault it was: if they say “mine”, they put a red cards in their pile, and if it’s someone else’s (mom, dad, sister, principal, doctor, etc.) they put a green card in their separate pile.
· There was a big math exam today, but I didn’t know anything because I stayed up late last night watching my nephews because my sister was in the hospital.
· Our school didn’t do anything special for purim this year. The administration just doesn’t care about the students.
· I saw someone run towards the bus I just entered, and the ‘stupid’ driver didn’t stop for him.
· (very relevant: “remember – you’re doing carnival this year!”) Our carnival, which we were supposed to be in charge of, was cancelled because rosh carnival was sick and couldn’t help us.
· I woke up late this morning and missed shacharit because my mom forgot to wake me up to catch the bus.
· I missed basketball practice because our ‘stupid’ captain didn’t call to tell us there was a practice today.
· My dad wouldn’t drive me back from the theater at night after I biked there by day, because I didn’t tell him where I was going.
Check with your chanichim how many green cards (bad) and how many red cards (good) they each have in their piles.
We all tend to blame other people more than ourselves, even if it was our own failure. We all tend to “shoulder off” responsibility.
3. Play “responsibility ball” (version of “hot potato”) with the chanichim. Give them a ball or something to pass around (one at a time!!) and sing or talk or say something. When the madrich outside the circle claps his hands, the person with the ‘potato’ in his hands leaves the circle.
The point of the game is to show that we all don’t want to carry responsibility with us or on us, and try to pass it to someone else.
4. Try to concentrate and get the chanichim out of the game atmosphere.
Ask the chanichim if everything a man does in the world is important? Are there things we can just do while ignoring the world, or do, no caring whether the world likes it or not? Should it matter to us?
Explain the chanichim that our lives and identity we build is built up of many small actions we take. A good manager (or whatever) doesn’t get his name around by going and saying that he’s a good manager (or at least it doesn’t work for him), but rather when he needs something, he does it, and that spreads around - much faster than words.
An “incompetent” man, or someone who doesn’t care and does little things just because he wants to, gives himself a bad name, and people will treat him appropriately. For everything we do there is a consequence – even for the little deeds.
Tell the chanichim about a person who happened to become a leader of a group – any group, you name it, from the class in school to the rescue mission in the world trade centers – that guy now needs to act accordingly, and can’t just wave out responsibility.
When we carry responsibility, of any sort, it restricts us to a certain behavioral standard.
The second game we played came to show the matter of taking responsibility into our own hands. If the administration didn’t plan a party, or rosh carnival was sick and couldn’t help you, meant that you should have taken up the project and organizing a party, even a small one without any budget, if you cared enough to complain about it. It would have shown I cared.
At this stage you can mention your chanichim the famous saying that “whenever you point your finger at someone (blaming him), don’t forget that three fingers are being pointed right back at you”.
That’s the way about everything in life – if I really wanted to change/prevent it I could.
Meaning, responsibility comes from being/feeling part of something and therefore you have responsibility towards it.
Last stage of the discussion (optional): the hebrew word for responsibility – Achrayut – can be split up into different meaning, one letter at a time:
A (à) – one is responsible for himself and his actions, to every action there is a consequence.
Ach àç(brother) – a man is responsible for his sibling and family (he’s part of them).
Acher àçø(else, surroundings) – a man’s responsibility for his surroundings.
Acharei àçøé(after, following) – a leader wants people to follow him, and therfore he must deserve it, with Dugma Ishit, etc.
Acharav àçøéå(after him) – a good leader needs to know that he, too, is following somebody, and needs to know to trust other people and to step aside at occasions.
Achrayut àçøéåú(responsibility) – conclusion: one who knows to take care of himslef, his family and his surroundings, is able to say “follow me” and at the same time “I follow him”, understand the true and fullest extent of responsibility.