Interdependent Web: Kindness in a cruel world, remembering a difficult time, honoring hard choices

Interdependent Web: Kindness in a cruel world, remembering a difficult time, honoring hard choices

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


Kindness in a cruel world

Lynn Ungar has been enjoying the Netflix makeover reality show,Queer Eye.

On the one hand, I don't really believe in quick fixes and the premise is annoying. On the other hand, the world is full of so much cruelty and animosity that it is a great pleasure to watch five beautiful men love up some nice person. (Facebook, 4.9.19)

Remembering a difficult time

Andy Burnette remembers the difficult decision, two years ago, not to join the UUA staff.

That decision marked one of the most difficult times in my professional life. It made it clear that there are ways of doing social justice which I do not subscribe to, and which hurt me, my family, and some people in the congregation I serve. I’m a little less trusting of groups of colleagues now, and of our associational hierarchies, formal and informal. I am certain that social media made it all a lot worse. (Facebook, 4.9.19)

Honoring hard choices

Liz James notices a ragged-looking man finding a cell phone—and then a woman and her friends looking for a dropped phone.

I watched the man. Thinking maybe I needed to say something. Thinking I know what it feels like to lose a phone. Also thinking that I know what it feels like to be hungry. So hungry that I knew exactly which groceries I would buy in which order if I came across any money. Thinking it is easy to write long lists of moral “should”s when your belly is full.

After a moment, the man heaved a heavy sigh and said “did you lose a phone?” to the woman, pulling it out of his pocket. . . .

The statues we make to immortalize greatness... they're never for moments like this one.

I wish a few of them were. (Facebook, 4.6.19)

Learning to trust your experiences

John Beckett has advice for those encouraged to doubt their mystical experiences.

Learning to trust your mystical experiences is hard. It’s hard to overcome our mainstream society’s insistence that they can’t be real. For those of us who believe (or at least, strongly suspect) that there’s more to the universe than what can be measured and cataloged, it’s impossible to dismiss them as delusions. (Under the Ancient Oaks, 4.11.19)

Mistaken assumptions

Andrew Hidas considers the mistaken assumptions behind Doris Day's easy, sunshiny manner.

Like many spiritually oriented people, she mistakes the fact that she and others managed to make some lemonade from the lemons of life with the notion that the lemons were all planted and distributed by some cosmic film director who had the whole script already written and just needed some actors without any say in the matter to follow along and recite their lines. (Traversing, 4.6.19)

Jazz rules

Halcyon Westall links the lessons she's learned from jazz to best practices for living in a spiritual community.

This is OUR music. You are part of an ensemble. Listen for yourself in the whole. . . .

[Jazz] is like a rubber band, you can pull it any way you like, but the basic structure you Do. Not. Break. (for this most amazing day, 4.5.19)

Severe thunderstorm

An autistic UU who uses the pen name Ekie finds fault with an article in the Spring issue of UU World entitled “The Spectrum of Inclusion.”

The article on neurodiversity wasn’t a catastrophe. It was, rather, a mess, a severe thunderstorm instead of a hurricane. It couldn’t seem to decide if it was talking about neurodiversity or about autism or about disabilities, and so flipped between the topics and confused them. (I Know This Rose Will Open, 4.9.19)

UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray responds on Facebook, urging UUs to “engage in the kind of deep discussion and reflection needed to fully embody Unitarian Universalist aspirations of equity and inclusion.” (Facebook, 4.11.19)