Why Generosity?

I’ll be honest. I’ve been a bit worried about the revisions to Article II. I feel like I just figured out the language of the last version of Article II, and in my five years as a UU,  I’ve become attached to those handy lists of principles and sources. Thinking about my anxiety, I decided that the willingness to embrace change could be another form of generosity, so I read and then reread the final proposed revision now released by the UUA Board of Trustees.

The new proposed revision is accompanied by a cool new flower image of the proposed values which appeals to my 1960’s childhood. I was intrigued to see that generosity along with interdependence, pluralism, justice, equity and transformation is depicted on one of the petals reaching outward from a center of love. 

As thoughtful as I know Unitarian Universalists to be, I can imagine that the choosing of this language and the distillation of our principles to these 6 specific values was a process of back and forth, give and take from all involved. These words weren’t chosen lightly. Generosity wasn’t chosen lightly, but purposefully. As I read the proposal, I am struck by the last sentence referencing generosity: “Our generosity connects us to one another in relationships of interdependence and mutuality.” 

Generously giving and receiving leads us to acknowledge our need for each other. It encourages us to build trust and teaches us to give without fear and receive without shame. It allows for the unpredictability of life, the needs of individuals as they navigate the demands of jobs or family and the changing needs of time commitments or health. Generosity speaks to our humanity, both in what we share in life experiences and what sets us apart. In the end, generosity is perhaps just one more invitation to simply let go and allow giving and receiving to bring us out of our individual anxieties and into beloved community.

~Lisa Kiel

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1 Response to Why Generosity?

  1. katrina P yurko says:

    Your perspective on generosity is so well integrated into the the bigger picture ! It’s the far reaching effects and the mutuality of it that make this one value central to community and just as significant as the other “pedals”. It’s kinda like a great equalizer but at the same time, generosity gives those that can give/or want to give, an opportunity, and those who receive gifts, a chance to find belonging. Like Rumi Said, ” we’re all just walking each other home.”
    By the way , I think you are just the right person to tend the MDF garden….

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