We Are: Individual and Community

As Americans, we love our individualism.  Celebrating the individuality of each human being is a beautiful and necessary thing.  Our own Unitarian Universalist principles speak to this individuality. We affirm the dignity of every human being (1), acceptance of one another as these unique beings (3),  the right of each person to search responsibly for the truth and meaning of things (4), and the right of individual conscience and democratic process which implies that a single person’s vote matters (5).

However, when we affirm the right of a single person to seek for truth and meaning (4), we say that it should be done responsibly–which clearly means that we do not seek alone and that we seek within a context that calls for our response to others.  We call for justice, equity and compassion in our relationships (2).  What we do and how we do it has an impact on others, and our way requires us to act in ways that are just, equitable and compassionate.  We see the world as a community which embodies peace, justice and freedom for all people (6), and we declare an interdependent web of existence (7).  We are individuals, but we are always and deeply connected to all else that is.

That’s who we are–individuals but never JUST individuals.  So, when a child is born and the morning star rises to sing to the universe–this is who we are.  We are unique beings AND we are the result of grandmothers’ prayers and grandfathers’ dreamings.  We take our own breaths AND we are also the breath of our ancestors.  We are individual human beings AND we are the Spirit of God.

Celebrate who you are in the world today.  Go back to those affirmations that you may have crafted for yourself a few days ago.  Help and heal your mind with those words, and include some of these as well:

We are our grandmothers’ prayers.
We are our grandfathers’ dreamings.
We are the breath of our ancestors.
We are the spirit of God.

We are
Mothers of courage
Fathers of time
Daughters of dust
Sons of great vision.
We are
Sisters of mercy
Brothers of love
Lovers of life and
the builders of nations.
We are
Seekers of truth
Keepers of faith
Makers of peace and
the wisdom of ages.

Ysaye Barnwell

Bob Patrick

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