Interdependent Web: Meant for love and beauty, the opposite of helplessness, a new world is coming

Interdependent Web: Meant for love and beauty, the opposite of helplessness, a new world is coming

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


Meant for love and beauty

The Rev. Theresa Soto’s poem was a balm for many hearts this week. (Facebook, October 4, shared in its entirety with permission)

I need you to know
that there is nothing
wrong with you, if you
find the world congealed
and unwieldy. You were
never meant to serve money,
to give loyalty to unprincipled
power, to spend your joy
frantically soothing yourself
in order to tend wounds
of being constantly
dehumanized. I need you
to know that your sense
of injury and anger is not
overdeveloped. You are meant
for love and beauty. You belong
where you are known and
where your future is not just a
resource, but a promise, which
you begin to fulfill by being
unmistakably, irrevocably

—you are not wrong.

Believe survivors

The Rev. Madelyn Campbell shares her #MeToo stories, and then says:

Here’s the thing about my story. It’s not extraordinary. Most of the women I know have stories like these. Not a few of the women I know. MOST of the women I know. And a few of the men.

And this doesn’t even begin to touch on the harassment.

We have stories like this, and we remember the details. Even from long ago. What things looked like, smelled like, felt like. We remember.

Believe us. (The Widow’s Mite-y Blog, October 2)

The opposite of helplessness

The Rev. Meg Riley suggests strategies for coping with helplessness.

Agency is the opposite of helplessness, so experiencing agency in any form also helps to get out of the triggered response. So doing something like choosing to put on music and dance or cooking or hugging a pet or anything else that we choose to do can reinforce that we have power to choose something. Preferably something we really like. (Facebook, September 29)

The Rev. Wendy Von Courter commented on a powerful photo from a protest in which her hands are zip-tied in front of her as if she were praying, and the officer arresting her is removing her clerical collar.

While I do not question the power of faith to help any of us through horrors in life, I do not believe in turning away from the power we're granted as humans to insist upon justice, safety, and respect for all of our children. For all of us. (Facebook, October 2)

The Rev. Amanda Poppei has been active in several acts of witness and protest in Washington, DC. this week; at one march she “marched for, and with, and inspired by a fourteen year old.”

I don’t know what happened in that young woman’s life that propelled her to the march today; whether she or someone in her family was hurt, or whether she just felt the need for justice. The mama in me wanted to follow her around and make sure she was okay in the large crowd. But we were too slow for her—she was headed for the front and she was ready to fight. (Facebook, October 4)

Men and boys

The Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford acknowledges the struggle for men who are trying to do and say the right things.

For the men who love women who are hurting right now, I see you.

The men who are trying to figure out whether to be large and protective or small and invisible, what best to help this person they love, I see you. (Facebook, October 4)

Justin Almeida focuses on the responsibility of raising his son.

It is up to me, as the brown father of a boy who will grow up to be a white man, to make a difference for his sake and for the sake of the other human beings in his life. It is my responsibility to teach him the morals and ethics of consent and respect. He will learn from me how to recognize his own privilege and to check his own bias. He will look to me as a model; how to be angry, how to be mindful, how to be just, how to love, how to forgive, how to listen. I must commit to the hard work of helping my son be a better man than I will ever be.

Because toxic masculinity demands a human sacrifice. And there are no angels that will wrest the stone knife from my hand. It’s up to me to stop the cycle; to tear down the altar, to deny the beast its blood. My son is not your Isaac. Men, we have a choice. (Necessary but not sufficient, September 27)

A new world is coming

The Rev. Ashley Horan wants to reimagine and create a better world.

I just keep thinking: "What would happen if, instead of having to expend the emotional and physical and spiritual energy to speak truth to power, we--women and femmes and trans/nb/gnc folks and queers and people of color and immigrants and disabled folks and every other group who isn't at the center of the white cisheteropatriarchy--were able to devote that same courage, that same yearning, that same loving energy to living into another way of being? What if we didn't have to use all our spoons to resist and critique, but rather to reimagine and create?"

I believe—truly—that any damn thing would be possible. (Facebook, October 4)

The Rev. Jim Foti believes there are glimmers of hope.

For women, the cost of sharing their stories – the cost of simply being female – is still far too high. But there are glimmers of hope in all the truth-telling that is pouring forth, and big cultural shifts in the offing. . . .

The younger generations are poised to do better on gender than the generations currently in power. We need to ensure that there’s a democracy left for them to inherit. (Jim Foti, October 3)

The Rev. Beth Johnson urges us to breathe our way to resilience.

Beloveds, we are demanding and in our resistance we are resilient. Remember that there is a force more powerful being unleashed - the power of radical love, righteous rage, and evolutionary imperative - the power of our collective vision of another world and way of being of which we are midwives.

Breathe. Rest. Pass the baton when you need to and pick it back up when you can.

You are not in this alone. We are not in this alone.

I love you. (Facebook, October 4)