Thirty Days of Love – Day 4
Winter Storm Izzy has moved on! We so rarely get snowfall in the South so I actually look forward to it from time to time. (Especially when I have nowhere to go for a while). Although I’m more than happy to live without snow, there are a few things I miss since moving here from the North. It’s not just the beauty of freshly fallen snow, but the sound and stillness of it. Bundling up in the evening after the first few inches have fallen and taking a long walk quiets me. No cars on the roads. No one about. Dark. Stillness. Silence…save for the wind and my own breath. One and the same?
Thirty Days of Love – Day 5
In 1961, two denominations, the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America, consolidated to form the Unitarian Universalist Association. Universalists believe in universal salvation – that a benevolent God, a God who loves his creation, would not create beings to be damned in everlasting hellfire.
For Universalists, it’s illogical to think that a loving God, like a father, would cast his creation into eternal flames. This is illustrated in a story told about nineteenth century Universalist minister Hosea Ballou: A man was despondent, relating to Rev. Ballou the exploits of his wayward son. Every night the man’s son went to local tavern, stayed too late, drank to much and then stumbled home drunk. The man didn’t know how to help his son. Rev. Ballou then had an idea, “Tonight, we’ll wait along the roadside and then when your son comes stumbling by, we’ll grab him and throw him into a big fire!”
“What?” said the man, “What sense does that make?”
“Absolutely none,” answered Rev. Ballou.
Thirty Days of Love – Day 6
What would the world be like if we all assumed that everyone needs a little help? That “needing a little help” was everyone’s baseline? That nobody’s “got this?” I say this because I’m pretty sure it’s true.
Everybody’s from somewhere. We can’t possibly know the past of the people we meet every day; but I believe that for everyone, that “somewhere” will have some more than trace amounts of dysfunction, tragedy, abuse, illness, addiction, misfortune, etc. I’m learning (sadly, I must say) that there are many more people than I had ever imagined whose “somewheres” consist primarily of those negative ingredients.
So, let’s just assume that everyone needs a little help – the cashier at the convenience store, colleagues at work, trash collectors, fitness center attendant, the receptionist at the doctor’s office, pizza delivery person, nurses, teachers, flight attendants, etc. – and maybe we could all show a little grace, cut a little slack, and be a bit nicer…like maybe 15% nicer for starters. (It may take more than that.) Let’s see what happens.