All this week we’re observing Chalica: an emerging holiday where, each day, we’re invited to live more deeply into our seven Unitarian Universalist Principles through ordinary, simple acts. These principles articulate the core ethics of our liberal religious tradition. What happens when we put our values in action?
We covenant to affirm and promote…
The inherent worth and dignity of every person.
Youth version: Each person is important
For me, the key word here is “inherent.” In Unitarian Universalism, there is nothing you have to do to earn love. You are worthy of love and respect just because you exist, period. This is radically different than the way many of us were taught. Many people are consumed with fear that no matter how hard they try, they’ll never be “good enough.” Far too many religions cultivate a sense of endless guilt, worthlessness, and disempowerment. This is not the way of the First Principle.
What if you truly believed that you are worthy of love, just as you are? What if you approached others, especially strangers or those who are different, as inherently worthy and deserving of dignity? How differently might you act?
Please note: this principle says nothing about inherent “goodness.” Goodness and worthiness are separate things. Every human being, including you, is capable of both goodness and evil; however, whatever good or evil we may do, the Principle says: we are worthy. We have a fundamental right to be treated with dignity. You matter. You are important. And so is everyone else.
In a world where whole classes of people are treated as “other,” and in this time where someone’s worth and dignity is closely linked to how much they politically agree with us, our Principles point in a different way: the way of affirming the inherent worth and dignity of everyone. The good news that each person is important. Including you. Including them.
Write a card thanking someone for being who they are
Tell someone you love them
Call or text someone you haven’t spoken with in awhile
Read something by someone from a minority group you are not a part of about their experience
Speak up for someone hurting or for an oppressed group