Common Ground

You have more in common than you think.

Activity:

  • Have each person choose a small item from what they brought with them, such as lip balm, a quarter, or a pen from a pocket or purse.
  • Have group members pass their objects to the person on their left (or otherwise trade objects so that everyone has a new object).
  • Take turns allowing each group member to describe how he or she is similar to and different from the new object. Avoid obvious statements like "This is a pen. I am not a pen."
  • Be creative. It's amazing how much you can find in common with something completely different from you if you try.

Leader note: Another variation is to have people shout out random words to write on a board and challenge the group to find a common thread between two completely unrelated things. For example: "Marker" and "mother" is a tough one, but it can be said that both are permanent.

Conversation Starters:

  • Did you have difficulty finding similarities with your object? What was that like?
  • Which did you notice first: how the object was different from you or how it was similar to you? Why do you think that is?
  • When have you had difficulty finding similarities with another person? How did you handle the situation?
  • What do you think our response should be when we encounter someone seemingly very different from us?
  • How would you want to be treated by others who feel you are very different from them?

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