Interdependent Web: An unbuttoning of the heart, other people's children, questions about virtue

Interdependent Web: An unbuttoning of the heart, other people's children, questions about virtue

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

Heather Christensen


An unbuttoning of the heart

The Rev. Karen Hering thinks of gratitude as having a traveler’s openness to the future.

I often think of gratitude as a kind of inventory tallying blessings I can name and count. But in its deepest form, I think, gratitude is not meant to be limited to what is already in hand. True gratitude is an unbuttoning of the heart that also opens us to the future, inviting our thanks for what has not yet been given or granted, for the story not yet finished, for the table not yet laid. (Karen Hering, 11.20.18)

The Rev. Aaron White asks, “What would it mean for you to say thank you to the parts of yourself that you sometimes wish weren’t there?”

Trying to see the possible health in all things has a subtle grace in it. It says we are all in this together, that each part of who you are is part of your team. It says that there is an underlying health, a goodness in you that wants to be expressed and be whole. It points to something decent and lovable, even in the parts of who we are that are hardest to love. For this, and so many things, I give thanks. (Possibility Conspiracy, 11.23.18)

Other people’s children

The Rev. Amy Shaw’s reimagining of the Christmas story begins like this:

And it came to pass in those days that Central American countries were in turmoil, and word went out that people were going to flee to the United States.

(And this flight was first made when Trump was the President of the United States of America.) (Facebook, 11.26.18)

Kim Hampton challenges the self-righteousness of white, progressive parents.

[Most] white children go to segregation academies, whether they are formal or informal. Public or private.

New York City has the most segregated schools in the nation. Not Mississippi. . . .

So, before you decide to form words to condemn Cindy Hyde-Smith and her segregation academy experience, look at the schools YOUR children go to. I can almost guarantee, they aren’t much different. (East of Midnight, 11.27.18)

Questions about virtue

John Beckett discusses the moral challenges most people face in their workplaces, ending with some solid advice:

No one is entitled to your soul. Do what you have to do to get by, but never forget who you are and what’s really important to you.

Never sell them your soul. (Under the Ancient Oaks, 11.29.18)

Doug Muder asks, “ What’s the difference between right-wing media and left-wing media?”

[The] right-wing news ecosystem has no antibodies that fight infection by false information. Left and Right are each exposed to misinformation and disinformation, but nothing on the Right keeps it from taking root. . . .

It’s tempting to claim some superior virtue on the Left, but that’s not where Network Propaganda goes. Instead, it finds a first-mover advantage: Once a self-contained right-wing propaganda system exists, it allows the left-wing audience to gets its worldview affirmation from the center. (The Weekly Sift, 11.26.18)

The Rev. Dan Harper addresses the political divide between elite and non-elite white people.

We elites whites cannot dodge our own ethical responsibilities by bad-mouthing Trump and his supporters. Fighting classism is as ethically necessary as fighting racism, and in both cases we elite whites have to begin by examining ourselves: How are we contributing to the problem? And then: How can we stop contributing to the problem?

Or, as a sage two thousand years ago put it: Don’t go trying to pull the sawdust out of another’s eye when you’ve got a chunk of wood stuck in your own. (Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, 11.24.18)