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Sunday, September 03, 2006

"Your daily life is your temple and your religion." -Kahlil Gibran

This is what I'm trying to say (and I can't believe I'm quoting Gibran, but there you have it): your actions come straight from your values, good, bad, or all mixed up. What you do every day, what you say and how you say it reflects your personal religion, and it might not totally resemble your church's religion.

UUs are lucky; our values are logically consistent, they're based on personal responsibility - UUs don't expect someone up in the sky to solve our problems for us, we don't have to pick and choose what to embrace in our religion and what to ignore, it's all good. And yet, although our 7 principles are easy to agree with, they are really hard to live by. Or maybe it's just me?

Consider the FIRST PRINCIPLE: The inherent worth and dignity of every person.
and the SECOND PRINCIPLE: Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations.

When I try to put my $ where my principles are, I come up short. To live the suburban life requires a bunch of $ for the mortgage, for the cars, for the kids. The more $ that goes for this "lifestyle," the less there is to donate to Father Joe or KPBS. And many of us in Suburbia have constructed very busy lives so that there is very little time to spend thinking about where our $ is going and whether we agree or not and if we don't agree, what can we do about it anyway? If I really believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person and in justice, equity, and compassion, wouldn't I be doing more to help those less fortunate than I am? Wouldn't I always buy organic and local? Wouldn't I be willing to pay more so that all workers could earn a living wage?

At some point, we draw the line and say we can only do so much. We're doing as much as we can and that's it. I say make the line soft. When you can, let the feeling of not doing enough stay a little longer. Then think of one more positive thing you can do, and do it.


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