Opening Activity

Think about a time when you chose not to take on a certain responsibility. Why did you make that decision? Do you feel guilty about it now or was it the right decision at the time? Take a moment to think about it and then share with a partner.

Discussion Questions

  1. What responsibilities do the prosperous have, if any?
  2. What responsibilities do the less prosperous have, if any?
  3. What do you think about the narrator’s claim that a good deed can come with a burden?
  4. Is there a specific moment when the narrator begins to find the boy annoying? What changes?
  5. The narrator says that he did not realize what motivated his detour until later reflection. What do you think motivated his actions? Why did he not recognize what motivated him until later?
  6. Do you agree that there is a “contract” between the benefactor and the beneficiary? What does this contract entail?
  7. In your professional experience, what is the relationship between the benefactor and beneficiary?

Closing Activity

Return to the responsibility you thought of earlier that you decided not to take on. Think of a few questions you have about the implications of choosing not to take on the responsibility and share with the same partner.

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