The first service at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett this November featured four speakers sharing reflections on generosity in addition to the homily and, though I
participated as a speaker, I found myself further inspired by the thoughts of our congregants
Aline Harris shared a reflection about reciprocity and the concept of storing our excess in the
belly of our neighbor.
For those who may have missed the story, Aline described a hunter being
questioned how he saved the excess meat from a successful hunt. The hunter responded that he fed his community and knew that they would do the same for him when he needed it. As we
contemplate generosity this month, what a wonderful message this was to receive.
I have come back to this several times since hearing Aline’s message and I wondered how we are doing “storing our abundance” in our communities. It feels to me that, globally and nationally, the historically unprecedented levels of income and wealth inequality indicate we’re not doing great. We have some institutional answers nationally like Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare but these alone are inadequate to the task. The income and wealth inequality we find today is also juxtaposed against incredible increases in productivity and corporate profits.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this plenty found its way to the people who needed it?
~Ian Van Sice