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…
Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations.
Youth version: Be kind in all you do
Our culture is deeply transactional. Every relationship gets reduced to a cost value, or it’s judged on the basis of what I think it does for me. Genuine connection, true relationship, is a rare commodity. The First UU Principle calls us to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person. How exactly do we treat someone if we assume they have an inherent worth and dignity? The second Principle answers: with justice, equity, and compassion.
“Justice,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said, “is what love looks like in public.” Justice in our relationships mean all are treated fairly, as equals. Justice means being aware of the ways subtle, even unconscious, prejudice and bigotry can distort our relationships. It means knowing about racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism, classism, transphobia, etc., and trying to consciously change whenever we learn we are wrapped up in these.
That’s how we get to equity. We can’t assume everything is equal because it’s Massachusetts. It isn’t. People of color, the poor, sexual and gender minorities, religious minorities, people without faith… there are far too many who don’t feel they have anywhere they belong. Could we be different?
And that’s the power of compassion, of opening our heart to really feel deep connections with each other, including strangers. These days, in the United States, compassion for difference is a rare commodity. Our political discourse is increasingly cruel. Who counts as “American” seems to be shrinking. Do you wish things were different? Then let’s begin, by doing better in our own relationships. Let’s begin by being kind in all we do.
– Do something kind for a stranger or friend
– Donate a box of food to a local food bank
– Call or email your government representatives and ask them to side with justice and love
– Write a letter or email of support to an organization that works for justice on behalf of the oppressed