Between Us

May is my birthday month, and reflecting on having been once again carried by the Earth thru this part of the universe, on a full rotation around the Sun, even taking all the hard things into account, I’m very glad to be alive! As a small token of my deep gratitude for all the gifts that I receive every day, I’ll be making a contribution to the UUFC Birthday Club again. The older I get, the more I love this: that on my birthday I celebrate by giving gifts to others, including an amount of dollars at least equivalent to my age, to the Fellowship. When it is your birthday month, I hope you’ll do that same.

One of the reasons I like to give to the Fellowship, again as a SMALL token of my deep gratitude, is that the Fellowship has been for so much of my life a community of companionship and nurture, in which I have in so many ways learned to be the kind of human being I want to be. When I first became a UU, here at the Fellowship, I was deeply interested in the history and development of liberal religion. I was in need of the kind of religious freedom the Fellowship, and UUism offered. I was thirsty for theological and social perspectives that were wide open and inclusive and progressive. It was heady and exhilarating, and I decided to make it my life work.

What I didn’t know at the time is that while the ideas are important, the opportunity to be in relationship with other people – to be in community, as we so often say – is even more important. Both are needed: the evolving ideas AND the chance to practice them in real time with real people. That’s my bottom line:
how do any of our ideas stack up in relation to how we interact with other people (and all of the living world?) I have to say, to myself as well as to you who might be reading, that as UU’s we are quite good at articulating, discussing, and debating ideas and not as good at living into our highest values. Like almost everyone else in the world, we still get hung up in self-centeredness, in a need for comfort and security, in an outsized need to be right, in the perspective of ego.
And so, I am grateful to be alive in order to keep trying, keep learning, keep aiming to be the kind of person I want to be.

I hope I have many more years to do this work, because the more I learn the more I see that I have to learn. I have a long way to go. Thank-you for being my companions on this journey!