Read the article 'Becoming the best you can be' and answer the following questions. Then share your answers in pairs, small groups or in a classroom discussion.
1. After reading the article ‘Becoming the best you can be’, what is your first impression of the article? What do you think you would have to do to be the best that you can be?
2. What do you think of the statement made by American fashion designer Anne Klein that, ‘it’s not clothes that change the world but the women who wear them’?
3. The author of the article Emilie Ng tells us that German Chancellor Angela Merkel managed to gain worldwide attention for her policies and not just her blazers. Do we tend to judge people by what they look like or what they wear (especially women)? Why?
4. Director Pam Betts, Executive Director of Catholic Education in Brisbane, always knew she wanted to be a teacher from a very early age. Not all of us know what we want to do when entering the workforce. What should be our overall outlook when deciding what work we want to do? What did those Sisters of St Joseph and Presentation sisters teach Pam Betts about the way to live when she got older?
5. If you are female do you think your gender is a point of conversation when doing well in a job or in playing sport? If you are male, what do you think could be done to change this concept of females in so called ‘male’ roles? Are you prepared to try to change this and how would you go about it? Did Jesus make a difference in how he treated men and women in the gospels especially as this was a patriarchal society? Look for some examples.
1. When thinking about the Mother of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel, she was to become the best she could be. Read Chapters 1 and 2 in Luke’s Gospel. How did Mary show her strength in accepting to become the Mother of Jesus? Who took the initiative to ask questions of Jesus after he went missing after returning home after the festival? What other instances in the gospels do you see Mary as showing her to be the ‘best she could be’?
2. Think of other leaders of business or non-profit organisations in Australia. Make a list of them and then write a paragraph about one of them demonstrating how, he or she, has ‘engaged in the world, not for personal gain, but to make a difference in the world and treat people with respect’. What did they do to be the best they could be?
3. Ghandi was purported to have said ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ (the quote was really much longer than that). Write a page on where you would like to be in 10 years time. Would you be demonstrating some of the gospel values like compassion, faith, hope and charity? How can you be the change you would want to see in the world?
For Younger Students
1. Read the article to the younger students – you may have to simplify it - ask older students to read it for themselves. Do they think Pam Betts had become the best she could be? How did she accomplish this? Who were her heroes at school? Did she model herself on some of these people?
2. Get the students to think of their Mum, Dad or Carer. Why are they the best they can be? Write up on the whiteboard some of their answers. Do they see any of these values they have named in Jesus?
3. Ask students to write up what they can do to make a change in order for the world to be a better place. Share this among the class. Ask students to name one thing they could do before the end of the year that would help them to become the best they could be. They could write this on a piece of paper which you could seal in an envelope and keep to the end of the year. Tell them they will open the envelopes at the end of the year and discuss in class whether they have been successful even in a small way. If they have not why would this be? Did they set themselves too difficult a task? Remind them that they can be the ‘change they want to see in the world’.