Interdependent Web: What to do with the heartbreak, boys and men, living values

Interdependent Web: What to do with the heartbreak, boys and men, living values

A weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism


What to do with the heartbreak

The world seems hard these days,” Tina Porter writes, and she has some advice for dealing with its jagged edges.

Find your center. Find the beauty. Find the quiet place where you feel enveloped maybe not by the love you receive but by all that you give. It matters. It matters to me that you find yourself in a soft, cozy space every once in a while. . . .

And then pick up the heartbreak once more and get back to the job of making the world a little softer, especially for those for whom the world is always searing and craggy. (Ugly Pies, October 26)

Liz James learns to appreciate the goodness and beauty of things that seem to end—but endure in other forms.

Maybe we have trouble saying “it’s time for the end of that” because it’s a lie. A marriage that ends doesn’t cease to exist—it turns into something that is not a marriage any more. People don’t finish. They turn into something that is not a person—memories and stardust, and lives changed by their fingerprints. Businesses don’t fail—they turn into learning and the prologue of the next story. (Liz James Writes, October 30)

At this turning of the year, the Rev. Catharine Clarenbach finds herself considering the pain and loss we inherit—and pass on to those who come after us.

EcoBuddhist Joanna Macy takes a view I can only hold in moments. She rests in the Buddhist’s sure knowledge of the transience of all things. She says that just because something is going to be lost doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be in love with it now. Just because all things die and change doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be in love with them now. (The Way of the River, November 1)

Boys and men

The Rev. Adam Dyer writes about the connections between male embodiment and violence.

Gender statistics on mass shootings are a clear indication that gun violence in the United States is a male problem…just like rape. If we are to find an antidote to all toxic masculinity, we need to begin by de-weaponizing male embodiment. This means the careful dismantling of all the language and social structures that equate the power of masculinity and the penis with lethal force.

We will never fix the fatal flaw of the Second Amendment until we disband the not-so-well-regulated militia in men’s pants. (Spirituwellness, November 2)

The Rev. Jordinn Nelson Long cannot find public space where her rowdy boys are welcome.

Our boys and their games are simply not welcome in public space, and I can tell you that because there is literally nowhere for them to go that is publicly available. Our family can and does make accommodations with $ and time—we belong to the Y and the climbing gym, for example . . . but that’s not the solution to the societal problem.

What gives, America? And do we think this might be related to, say, some of the problems our young men and adult males are having? (Facebook, November 1)

Learning values, living values

Jason Puracal challenges the members of his congregation to look at the racism within their liberal community.

I first became consciously aware of the racism at East Shore after taking Beloved Conversations. In that class, we learned about microaggressions. This was not a new learning for me; however, I decided to start tracking the microaggressions I was experiencing personally or witnessing at the church. After about two months of doing so, I had to stop. I was writing something down every week, sometimes more frequently. It was emotionally exhausting. (East Shore Unitarian Church, October 31)

The Rev. Parisa Parsa attended the Value Voters Summit, and the ordinary participants she encountered there were very different from the headliners featured in outraged liberal tweets.

We everyday citizens have a powerful choice in this moment in history. Will we turn toward our neighbors and seek to understand them, or will we perpetuate a machine of alienation and rage until we are all destroyed? We live in a landscape of some of the greatest diversity of ethnicity, race, religion, sexuality, gender and political persuasion the world has ever witnessed in a single society. In the midst of the fear, division and misinformation, we must choose a path. (Medium, October 26)

You say you want a revolution

The Rev. Dr. Carl Gregg notes two simultaneous anniversaries—that of the Russian Revolution and the Protestant Reformation.

Here in the early twenty-first century, as heirs to the insights of modern science, we tend to neither share Luther’s conclusions nor even necessarily to feel the burden of asking the questions that felt so vital to him and his fellow reformers five hundred years ago. For instance, in my tradition of Unitarian Universalism, we tend to shift the paradigm altogether from theology to ethics. As the sayings go, “We believe in deeds not creeds”—and “We don’t have to believe alike to love alike.” Nevertheless, we can at least in some senses respect that he had the courage of his convictions. (Carl Gregg, October 31