When the boot is on the other foot
by Helen Gwynne-Kinsey
Suitable for Key Stage 4/5
To reflect on being treated badly, and to look at how to seek reconciliation when the boot is on the other foot. To apply the teachings of Jesus to this situation.
Preparation and materials
- Be able to show the following video (2.20 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK5h2d-EMWw.
- PowerPoint presentation Reconciliation (supplied).
- Display slide 1 of the PowerPoint presentation for pupils to consider as they enter the assembly.
- If you say that the boot is on the other foot, it means that a situation has become the opposite of what it was before. This is usually because a person who was in a weak position is now in a stronger one. I am going to show you a short film which illustrates this situation very clearly.
- Show film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK5h2d-EMWw.
- Unfortunately, bullying can be a part of life for far too many people. This film shows, quite clearly, the effect which such treatment can have on the person who is being bullied. I would like each of you to reflect upon what you have seen, and to think about how you would have reacted in a similar situation. Is the film true to life?
- What I hope that you found interesting about this film is the way in which it ended, with the boot on the other foot for the bully. If you suddenly found yourself in a position of power, and could act against someone who had done you wrong, how would you react? Would you enjoy the newfound power and use it to bring about revenge? Or would you act in a spirit of reconciliation as has been shown in the film?
- Human nature would have many of us using our new position of superiority and power to make the bully’s life a misery, just as he or she had done to us. However, this is not how Jesus would have us act.
- Display the teachings of Jesus from the PowerPoint as you explain each one. Jesus was quite a radical teacher, as he regularly said and did unexpected things. For example, he said, ‘If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn and offer him your left cheek.’ What he meant by this is: do not take revenge. If you refuse to fight back then you are breaking the cycle of violence and it should stop.
- Jesus also said, ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you.’ This is all about treating others with respect. It’s about thinking before you act, and asking yourself whether or not you would be happy if someone did the same thing to you.
Time for reflection
help us to support each other in our school community so that we can foster respectful relationships with one another. Help us to be strong so that we can speak up when we see someone suffering and act to help that person. Let us move forward with the emphasis upon reconciliation rather than revenge.
‘What a friend we have in Jesus’ (widely available)