How does a country achieve equality? In the nations of greater equality, some of them, like Scandinavian countries, get there with redistributive taxes and benefits and a large welfare state. Others, like Japan, manage to have greater equality before taxes and benefits: the highest-paying jobs aren't all that high and the lowest-paying jobs still pay fairly well. For the U.S. to make progress in rolling back the inequalities that have been growing since 1981 when Ronald Reagan took office, some combination of income caps, higher minimum wage, and a more progressive tax structure might be a good start.
Unitarian Universalists care about our world. And it’s clear now that “further improvements in the quality of life no longer depend on further economic growth. The issue is now community and how we relate to each other.” That means: the political task is fundamentally a spiritual task. Even if the laws could be passed, they could be repealed by the next administration. Hope must lie in the deep rooting of a passion for connectedness.
Let me say that again:
Hope must lie in the deep rooting of a passion for connectedness.
That’s why, as important as it is for us to get our voices out there, it’s even more important to get our ears out there. Put away the smart phones, stop texting with our friends who post clever repartee on Facebook to reinforce our prejudices, and start listening with care, face to face, with people we might not agree with.
Let us be charged full with the charge of the spirit, with a passion for connection. Isn't that how a people of love live in the world? Isn't that what is ours to do? Isn't that why we are Unitarian Universalists? Is it not a passion for connectedness that has brought us here?
Well, is it?
So here’s what I want you to do. Your mission, should you choose to accept it:
Find someone this week with whom you don’t see eye to eye. Have a conversation with them about the topic you don’t see eye to eye on.
I appreciate that this may be challenging. This is my assignment, too, and right now I don't know how I'm going to do it. I'm going to try to find a way.
Give yourself a week. Then check in at your local Unitarian Universalist congregation and find someone there to tell how it went for you. Or, leave a comment here at Lake Chalice to describe the encounter.
To get full spiritual credit for this assignment, it must be face to face, and must last at least half an hour. Partial credit for phone calls. No credit for emails or text messages.
A real conversation. Just one: some time in the next seven days.
Come spirit, come. Our heart’s control.
Our spirits long to be made whole.
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This is part 6 of 7 of "Our Spirits Long to be Made Whole"
The "Postscript" (part 7): click here.
Previous: Part 5: "Roots of Joy, Roots of Despair"
Beginning: Part 1: "Lost But Making Good Time"