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/ Institute of Philosophy, Citizenship and Youth

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PhiloQuests: the day of solitude

9. Sharing of Stances

The potion of understanding


ObjectiveTo share your creative thoughts on understanding with other Philoquesters through a fantastic concoction!

Duration: 15 to 45 minutes


  • A sheet of paper, pencil and eraser
  • Coloured pencils and markers


Sometimes we can feel like others don't understand us. Being misunderstood can be difficult, especially when others don’t get who you really are. What if there were a magic potion that allowed those who drink it to immediately fully understand you, through and through? After just one sip, they would understand all your ideas, desires and emotions. Now is your time to invent this potion of understanding!


  1. Think about the ingredients of your potion. Take a moment to imagine what ingredients are needed to make a potion of understanding. A hermit's beard hair? A drop of paint from an artist whose genius was never understood? A page from a diary? Any idea can work, as long as it's related to understanding

  2. Draw the preparation of the potion. On a sheet of paper, draw the different ingredients of the recipe and the container into which they will be poured. Is it an old rusty cauldron? A chemist's flask? A diamond bowl? Let your imagination guide you!

  3. Write down the potion recipe. On the same sheet of paper, next to the drawing, write down all the steps to follow to prepare your potion of understanding. For each step, clearly explain which ingredients are required and how they have to be prepared before adding them to the potion. You can draw inspiration from a recipe on the Internet or from a cookbook if you have one at home!

  4. Think about your potion. While stirring your potion to make sure it's well mixed, think about these questions: What does it mean to be understood by someone? Is it possible for someone else to understand us better than we do ourselves? Are there some people who need to be understood more than others? Write your ideas on the sheet, take a picture then send it with your first name and age to so we can share your position with other Philoquesters! Hopefully they'll understand you better!


Bonus: Imagine a person who has been misunderstood all their life and who, one day, makes their friends and family drink this potion. What happens? How do the people around them react? How does the person feel? Write or draw the story and then ask yourself these questions: Is it a big deal to be misunderstood? Should we make more of an effort to understand others? Are there some people that you will never be able to understand? Why or why not?

What if a potion could make us understood by others?

Tricks for tots: Have you ever tried to explain something but others just didn't understand what you meant? Make up a short story in which two characters can't understand each other! What could be the reasons for this misunderstanding? Then imagine that one of the characters drinks the potion of understanding and finally understands what the other wants to say! Draw or write this story. When we disagree or argue, is it necessarily because we misunderstand the other person?
Tips for teens: One way to be understood can be to express yourself. But it can sometimes be difficult to express what we think, experience or feel... Why is that? Can creativity help us express ourselves to be understood? Are there things that we can only express to certain people, or that we can't express at all? Why or why not? When there is a misunderstanding, is it the fault of the person expressing themselves or of the person listening?

Share your creative reflections by sending them via email.
Include photos of your projects and notes of your thoughts, as well as your first name and your age!

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