Interdependent Web: Shapers of the opinions around us

Interdependent Web: Shapers of the opinions around us

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


Shapers of the opinions around us

Vanessa Southern urges all of us, no matter our political party, to say, “Enough.”

I literally don’t care who is President anymore as long as that person appreciates that the office of President and that we as citizens deserve to be able to believe that they know that serving in that office (SERVING) is about more than themselves. That they believe in democracy— Democracy, that way of being united, messy and complicated, that affirms the worth of the whole, the one people believed enough to die for (still do), risked everything for (still do), suffered PTSD for and spent years away from their families for (still do), the one we pay taxes to support (lots of taxes) and pledge allegiance to (324 million of us). We do not pledge that allegiance and all it costs us so that one self-centered, cynical, morally reprehensible and ethically vacant person (any person) can undermine it. (Facebook, September 26)

Doug Muder provides a helpful list of answers to common objections to the impeachment of the president.

[I]t’s important that lots and lots of us refuse to be confused or distracted, and that (to the extent we can) we commit to be shapers of the opinions around us rather than wallflowers.

With that in mind, I have assembled a list of the most popular objections to impeachment that I have heard, and have tried to cut through the fog with sharp answers you can use in your own discussions. (The Weekly Sift, September 30)

Trust me, precious darlin’

Misha Sanders writes to her year-ago self:

Trust me, precious darlin’.
It will be a hard year and nothing you can’t handle.
By this time next year, impossible as it seems . . . YOU. WILL. HAVE. SO. MUCH. JOY. AND. LOVE.
Unspeakable joy.
Unconditional love.
I promise.
Go drink some water.
I love you. (Facebook, September 27)

Catharine Clarenbach tells her femme gender story.

One of the things I’ve always said about queer people is that we are natural storytellers. Because of the water we swim in, the air we breathe, we’ve had to examine our experiences and find a way to make sense of them. The rivers of our lives may have jumped their banks several times, or even over and over again, but in our hearts, we know we are whole people. We know—and we teach each other—that we can find meaning in the narrative, in the story of our lives.

So I’ve thought of this storytelling superpower, this river-jumping, first and most often in terms of my sexual orientation, my sexuality as a pansexual woman. (The Way of the River, October 3)

Heather Finlay-Morreale, a pediatrician, admits that religion is inevitably present in most physicians’ exam rooms.

While some providers use religion to reduce access to care, for others religion drives them to serve underserved communities. Whether it is a mission abroad or a personal spiritual calling to work in impoverished communities—religion can drive a career caring for others. Personally, as a Unitarian Universalist, I think about two of our Principles “The inherent worth and dignity of every person” and “Justice, equity and compassion in human relations” when I work with families who challenge my compassion muscles. (Psychology Today, September 29)

The choice is ours

Dan Harper notes that “ Kindness has been neglected as a societal virtue in recent years.”

In a globalized world, you or I can connect with thousands, even millions of other people. In our widespread human connections, we can bark and bite and growl and fight, or we can be kind. Growling and fighting break human connections and lead to dissolution of society. . . . Kindness, consistently cultivated—first for ourselves, then for our families and households, then more and more widely, eventually for all humankind—strengthens human bonds, and makes it possible for compassion and love to take root as well, and to shoot upwards towards the sun, and to flower, and to set fruit that will nourish us and allow each of us to thrive and grow ourselves. (Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, September 28)

Carl Gregg reflects on the life and teachings of philosopher Martin Buber.

Buber’s life and teachings live as a reminder, calling me back to the potential that exists in any human-to-human encounter. The choice is ours whether we will choose at any given time to risk opening ourselves to all that can emerge from “open, direct, mutual, present, spontaneous” communication that is without any judgment or agenda. (Carl Gregg, October 3)