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?
Day Six: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.
Youth version: Build a fair and peaceful world
I’ve thought about this Principle a lot since Brexit. In just the past few years, there is increasing skepticism about global solutions or global cooperation, and a growth across the Western world in narrow nationalism. Fear of those outside our borders (even of peaceful asylum seekers) prevails. It feels as if the old global alliances are coming undone.
There is a great deal motivating this unraveling, and it’s not just xenophobia. Much of the push of globalization has been fueled by international corporations that have amassed unimaginable wealth while more and more people, especially in developing countries, waste away in abject poverty. This increasing wealth disparity means more and more legitimate resentment and a feeling of alienation. Sadly, this makes many poor people easy targets for demagogues that manipulate their fears to evil purposes.
We need our Sixth Unitarian Universalist Principle more than ever. The Sixth Principe is a call to think globally, to see all humanity, the whole world, as one. This is why many UU congregations, including our own, have a United Nations flag. But “world community” can mean many things. Maybe the collapse of old alliances is a chance to imagine something new. What would it look like if all people, everywhere, saw themselves as part of one community, with no “us” or “them”? What if we stopped building walls, and opened the doors of our hearts to our neighbors? That’s the spiritual challenge of the Sixth Principle.
Write your own poem, prayer, or meditation about world peace
Speak words of kindness to someone different than yourself
Learn about cultural diversity in your own community.
Just for one day, try to “fast” from violent entertainment, violent stories on the news, or violent thoughts about others.