Interdependent Web: Imagine a better world

Interdependent Web: Imagine a better world

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


Imagine a better world

John Beckett acknowledges that these are “troublesome times.”

It is natural and good and right to be concerned. But it is not helpful to be inhibited by fear.

Fear not, then imagine a better world. (Under the Ancient Oaks, January 28)

Ella Beth Ferree offers practical suggestions for those times when “caring about the world is depressing.”

Find your purpose. It’s not realistic to take on every source of injustice we see in the headlines. You are but one body, and it’s essential that you find something you believe in so strongly that you find yourself filled with determination and direction. For myself it is the issue of homelessness. For one of my friends it is the environment. Ask yourself, what is the one cause you feel you have the best chance of making a difference? Listen to your heart and follow that path. (Oak Cliff Advocate, January 23)

Doug Muder outlines the ways in which bankers can become climate change allies—if we speak their language.

The direction of the world seldom changes all at once, and different sectors catch on at different rates. As different segments of society change their minds, it’s important to let them do so, and to encourage them. Each will have its own language for talking about its new ideas, and they can’t be expected to learn our language just because we got there first. . . . If you want to get such people on your side, it helps if you learn the language of their new frame and bypass obsolete arguments, rather than sticking with the old terminology and insisting on winning those arguments. (The Weekly Sift, January 27)

Jordinn Nelson Long provides a list of “ six things you can do to use your hands and heart and body to resist and to make change, right now.”

I am telling you to find a faith community, and to do it as item #1 on your list, because you are going to be tired sometimes. You are going to be afraid, you are going to feel alone, you are going to have questions about what's happening in the world and does evil actually exist and how do we love well while still saying no. We don't always have answers, but we'll share our best thinking, and we’ll help you stay connected, fed, and hopeful while also organizing, often across faith lines and with secular partners, to take action in the world. (Facebook, January 28)

Deep ways of authentic spiritual practice

While writing a curriculum on world religions for second and third graders, Dan Harper began asking himself, “Well, what is religion, anyway?”

[Here] are some of the things I had to wrestle with as I was writing this curriculum:

— “Religion” is at most a social construct, and may not even exist;

— We have to be careful not to use the social construct of “religion” to impose our will on others;

— “Religions” are internally diverse, sometimes wildly so;

— “Religions” vary over time. (Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, January 29)

Livia Gershon writes that the study of comparative religions began with the 1871 publication of Unitarian James Freeman Clarke’s book, Ten Great Religions: An Essay in Comparative Theology.

Clarke’s work on comparative religion. . . . took other religions seriously while attempting to make a logical case for the superiority of Christianity. He argued that the message of Jesus “may be found scattered through the ten religions of the world,” but that Christianity “includes everything, it excludes nothing but limitation and deficiency.” (JSTOR, January 23)

James Ford writes that after silence and regularity, authentic spiritual practice requires “someone to check you.”

The brain is a great liar. . . . Someone who has walked the way before you, who you have some trust in, and who is willing to say the hard truth now and again, is worth their weight in gold. (Monkey Mind, January 30)