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UU Second Principle

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Oct. 9th, 2010 | 12:51 am

Unitarian Universalist Principle Two:  We affirm and promote justice, equity and compassion in human relations.


Again, this one is easier in words than in actions. Most UUs (Unitarian Universalists) have no problem with the importance of justice. Most churches are actively engaged in social justice work. Many have a thea/olgocial and/or philosophi...cal reason for doing so. In fact, this principle is at the ethical core of many Unitarian Universalists lives. They may draw from the life and work of Jesus Christ who worked for the poor, healed the sick and suffering, and reminded us that we all have the ability to bring justice and equity and compassion into the world. They may draw it from Judaism and the importance of tikkun- or repairing the world. Perhaps they draw if from humanism and the belief that humans are the ones who are responsible for this earth and those they share it with. There are many sources for the ethical commitment to justice, equity, and compassion.

Wherever the source, it is a spiritual practice to commit and recommit ourselves to healing the world through our actions (justice), systems (equity), and hearts (compassion). An attitude of compassion is necessary for the other two to be possible. The capacity to see another person as authentic, whole, and holy- especially when we do not agree with or even dislike them- is at the heart of compassion. It is easy to have justice, equity, and compassion for and with people we like and get along with. The heart of this principle is what you do when it is someone you don't get along with.

It means a commitment to loving words and deeds. It means a constant practice to build compassion in our hearts. To forgive others their trespasses is no small task, but to forgive ourselves is the most difficult thing for many. One of our ministers, Rev. Meg Barnhouse, encourages adding at the end of each UU Principle "in our homes and congregations." For some this is easy, but ask them to have justice, equity, and compassion in relationship to themselves, and it grows exponentially more difficult.

Where do you work towards justice in your life? How do foster equity? When do you practice compassion and how?

As many of our churches covenant each week:
Love is the spirit of this church and service is its law;
This is our great covenant:
To dwell together in peace;
To seek the truth in love;
and to help on another.

El amor es el espiritu de esta iglesia y el servicio su ley;
Este es magnifico convenio:
Vivir juntos en pas;
Buscar la verdad in el amor;
y ayudarnos los unos a los otros.

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