HUMANIST CORNER April 2018
“One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again, fear must be overcome again and again.” Abraham Maslow
“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough to those who have little.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
If that last quote seems familiar, it’s taken from the April 8th Order of Service when Bob Gerald gave his excellent presentation on “Poverty in America.” Among many other things, Bob reminded us that two thirds of the poor in this country actually hold down one or more jobs! That same day, in the second hour “Free Thinkers” session, developmental psychologist Maslow’s name also came up. It was mentioned virtually half the human family struggles to even reach or maintain the very bottom step in Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs.”
Two Sundays prior to that were devoted to global warming; including a version of my own that also included nuclear fears not experienced since the Fifties, along with the grim outlook for working class security thrown in for good measure.
Don’t we attend Sunday, Saturday or Friday services, depending on which Abrahamic faith we subscribe to, in order to shed our worldly bonds for at least an hour or two? Escape the glom and doom that propels popcorn, news programs and political spin? Absolutely! Except it clearly seeps into religious sanctuaries as well. Perhaps providing pinholes through the holy of holies through which we may glimpse a sometimes darker side of our devotions. The Christian right’s blind devotion to our present leadership. Even our own UUA’s current concerns with some treatment of our black leaders and parishioners within our association. A trend that led to Reverend Morales departure from leadership. Note even the growing attacks or dismissals of Francis, a truly courageous and compassionate Pope, and voice for all faithful.
Let me re-emphasize what I feel were two important points from my own February 18th effort, not out of narcissism but need:-
“Clearly none of us asked to be born into an age of crisis. But history’s given an enormous responsibility to present generations.” Futurist author Aldous Huxley noted that facts don’t cease to exist because they’re ignored.
UU’s have never ceased to seek, it’s what we do. But it’s so easy to fall into fear, anger, frustration or cynicism when facts are so cleverly distorted or simply hidden out of sight. During my own decades of attendance our fellowship’s demographics have altered considerably; from a gathering of mainly secular seniors, to a re-vitalizing crew of parents and young ones. As nature always intends. Yet we tribal elders and you stewards of new generations bear a common responsibility that’s hardly new, despite all the hurdles that lie ahead. Somehow, in whatever ways we can, we must leave our children, indeed the world’s children, a livable planet with shared peace and serenity.
Whether you choose to march, meditate on answers, make dramatic viewpoint or lifestyle changes – stagnant stability is no longer an option. If it ever was. There are huge movements afoot built on hope and vision. But sadly enough, even more entrenched movements bound to maintain a failed status quo, even move us backward in time.
We’re prided ourselves in standing on the side of love, but a love that can no longer sustain the platonic or platitudinal! Young or old we move into a daunting tomorrow in the “spirit of life.” Full heartedly! Nothing less can do, and a defeated doomsday will fall away…