We are right smack-dab in the middle of “30 Days of Love.” Back in 2009, the Unitarian Universalist Association launched the Standing on Side of Love Campaign “to harness love’s power to stop oppression.” In 2010, Standing on the Side of Love began re-imagining Valentine’s Day as a social justice holiday, which evolved into a month long spiritual journey between Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Valentine’s Day.
Love. Oppression. Justice. These are big ideas. But they are also small ideas. In the lesson plans we use for our religious exploration classes, I often provide the adult language of our Principles and Sources and the child language. So allow me…
Adult Example of Love: soothing your crying child and making sure they get to bed on time and eat their vegetables.
Child Example of Love: The big hug my parents give me when I fell and bruised my knee and the extra cookies they let me have after dinner!
Adult Example of Oppression: exhausted parents doing the best they can despite a culture that does not offer nearly enough support to so many families.
Child Example of Oppression: my big sister got picked to light the chalice AND flip the book pages during story time (this is completely hypothetical….)
Adult Example of Justice: Affordable healthcare, good public education, and quality, affordable childcare.
Child Example of Justice: when I get picked to light the chalice AND flip the book pages during story time
I think when we boil all this talk of love, oppression, and justice down, what we are really talking about is what we humans need to feel safe. To have a sense of security in our life. As I said from the pulpit on January 13, we UUs need holy trust among one another before we can engage on any kind of spiritual journey.
You know how I knew SKUUC was a community in which I could feel safe in? A community in which I could really offer my gifts? SKUUC passed what Dave Barry calls “The Waiter” rule: if someone is nice to you but rude to the waiter, they are not a nice person. (This is particularly evident if you are the waiter.) But a humble, consistent kindness that I observe over time—this is what allows me to begin to trust and deepen a relationship, to unfold into a spiritual journey. What do you and your family need in order to feel this kind of security? What will allow you to unfold into a spiritual journey where you can explore love, oppression, and justice?