Culture and tradition form a large piece of the puzzle-like solution to the questions
“Where do we come from?”
“What are we?”
and in turn give us a sense of the possibilities in the answer to the question
“Where are we going?”.
The United States is a nation composed of tremendously diverse citizenry. While we share a common American culture, we are also each subject to the influence of the cultures of our individual heritage, in addition to the sub-culture in which we were raised (often based on the region where we grew up). That’s a lot of melting in one pot!
Some of us may look back on our formative experiences with fondness, and some with disdain. But whether one chooses to embrace or reject the culture in which we were brought up, there is no denying that it always lives within us, serving to inform our perceptions of and reactions to the world around us. All of our experiences are viewed through the lens of our culture.
Unitarian Universalism as a religion was formed as a consolidation of two Christian denominations, and it draws on various faith traditions and theologies for its source materials and guiding principles. As individual Unitarian Universalists, we come from a variety of disparate faith traditions. Our journeys are as distinct from one another as our backgrounds, yet as a whole we have one thing in common. Regardless of the lens through which we view our world, we have chosen to move forward with one thing foremost in our purpose, defining our collective culture and shaping our living traditions:
Love will guide us.
There has been much lately in the news and on our minds that calls us to examine our American culture and reconsider that to which we have long turned a blind eye; to re-think what inspires pride. Many of us have determined that change is needed, and resolved to put forth our efforts in the direction of transformation of viewpoints, attitudes, and systems that are not serving us, not serving justice, not serving humanity. As we move forward in this endeavor, my we always be conscious of the light of Love guiding us on.