Friday, April 29, 2011

Isn't it Obvious? Bal/Balika Go To Move #3: Stories with Holes

This week in Balika/Bal 2 sabha, we look at bad guys. In the drama we saw in sabha when we were young, they all usually had long oily mustaches and they had one more thing in common: they did not get that Maharaj was Bhagwan, an obvious fact all of us know. We will also explore Bal/Balika Go To Move #3: Stories with Holes and use this as a case study with this presentation.

Simple Message: Due to ego, these “bad guys” all failed to realize Maharaj’s greatness. Prasang Pick one or two out of the three bad guys in the syllabus and practice your storytelling techniques to get the point across that ego caused these "bad guys" to not see Maharaj as Bhagwan, even though they had direct access to Him. The creativity tips have some ideas on grabbing attention. Unexpected / Go To Move: Stories with Holes Stories with Holes are short mystery stories which seem to not make sense because an obvious fact of the story has been withheld. The sabha audience can ask “yes” or “no” questions in order to piece together the clues to figure out the obvious fact. Here are some examples:

  • Balak was drawing on a piece of white paper, but nothing appeared. How? He was drawing with a white crayon
  • Jatin breaks into a house in the middle of the night, but the owners of the house are happy to see him. What happened? Steve’s a firefighter.
  • There was a fire in a house, the firemen did not come and the house did not burn down. Why not? The fire was in the fireplace.
  • A man's wife got all of the packages out of the car even though the windows and doors were closed and locked. It was a convertible
However here is our favorite. We told this story about seven months ago and our Bal Mandal kids still remember it - it is that sticky. A kaka is eating dinner (prasad) after sabha. He gets up and asks a balak who is handing out water for a glass. The balak looks at the kaka, then takes out a gun and points it at the kaka. The kaka says “Thank you,” and sits back down. Can you guess the answer? Keep reading the answer is somewhere below. Usage Hint: DO NOT START WITH THESE STORIES These stories are sticky, in fact they are too sticky. We found that when we started with these stories, the kids loved them. They wanted more. They enjoyed sabha, BUT the only thing they remembered was this story not the point of sabha. When we lead with a prasang and then went to this story and then tied it back to the original prasang, we got better retention of the simple idea. Relate to the Message: After playing just ONE game of stories with holes, tie it back to the prasang right away. This is critical. Example: At first, it’s hard to come up with an explanation for these stories. However, once we know the missing facts, it almost seems obvious. In the same way, Jagjivan had a hard time understanding that Maharaj was Bhagwan. His best friend and his wife knew this, but he could not get it. Just like when we started playing this game, nobody could understand why that balak pulled a gun on that kaka, we could not get it like Jagjivan could not get it. However after we figured out that he had the hiccups, it became obvious. Jagjivan's best friend and wife had faith and believed that Maharaj was Bhagwan, they got it, it was obvious to them. Now if the kids really want to play another game of story with holes, you can but as soon as that is over, tie it back to your simple message. This technique is powerful, maybe a bit too powerful - wield it wisely.

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