August 2018 Philosophy Read-In

Our August Philosophy Read-In was lovely!  We had a great time reading two stories by Byrd Baylor and engaging in delightfully, inspiring conversation with an amazing group of kids (and their parents!). 

We are grateful to have such kind, generous, and thoughtful people in our community…and honored that they chose to spend their time with us at our philosophy read-in!  Some of the things we explored during our post-read-in discussions included:

  • Wealth (what sorts of things contribute to the richness in our lives)?
  • Attention & Awareness
  • Relationships (with people, nature, our surroundings)
  • Shared experiences
  • Nature
  • Gratitude
  • Empathy & Compassion
  • And more…

Book Synopses

This is the story of a girl who shares her love for desert life. People sometimes ask her if she is lonely living out in the desert, and the girl responds, “How could I be lonely? I’m the one in charge of celebrations.” When people don’t believe her, the girl explains, “Last year I gave myself one hundred and eight celebrations…I keep a notebook and I write the date and then I write about the celebration.” The girl goes on to describe some of her celebrations, sharing with readers her treasured experiences like dancing in the wind on Dust Devil Day or sleeping outside on a hot summer night during The Time of the Falling Stars. A joyous celebration of the human spirit, this beautifully written & illustrated book inspires questions about the environment, ethics, language, community, and more.

This story is about a girl coming to understand how her parents believe themselves to be rich, despite an income that might suggest otherwise. As the narrator of the story, the girl calls a meeting where she asks her parents more about their wealth. Her parents explain to her that they don’t just take their pay in cash but also in the joy they get from the kind of work that they do. So the girl then asks them to qualify each of the things they love about the kind of work they do in the form of dollars from $5 to $10,000. After much deliberation and calculation, the girl decides that cash doesn’t belong on the same list as the valuable experiences that bring them joy. This wonderful book is a great (and fun) platform for examining values and the things that bring meaning to our lives.

Check out pics from our philosophy read-in below!

Thank you to the Philosophy Learning & Teaching Organization (PLATO) and the Helena Exchange Club for supporting philosophy in the community and helping us bring activities like these to the Helena community! 

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