Although many of us appreciate the lack of a creed in Unitarian Universalism, we do turn toward our 7 Principles for guidance and for a common sense of purpose with our fellow UUs. Much of the social action work we do, our RE classes, words and actions from the pulpit and in worship all refer back to these principles, in ways both subtle and manifest. We are proud of these principles and the ways in which they reflect a vision of a world that is peaceful, egalitarian, and healthy.
Yet, how well do we embody these principles in our everyday lives? For many of us, we approach our lives with a strong sense of morality and purpose, but we don’t often reflect upon whether and how we live out these particular tenets of our faith.
The new year presents us with an opportunity to do just that. You’ve likely made your new year’s resolutions if you’re going to. Perhaps you plan to work out more, get a better handle on your finances, or spend more time with your family. These are all laudable goals. Yet, I’d like to ask you to add one more thing to the list…
Resolve, in your own way and manner, to live up to the 7 Principles just a bit more clearly this year. Approach your choices with these in mind. Ask yourself how well you represent the values that make Unitarian Universalism special. Perhaps you need to focus on one principle in particular. Do you feel like you do enough to further Democracy in your community and the world? Are you living in a manner that demonstrates care for Mother Earth? Do you seek out knowledge and truths? How might you do these things more thoughtfully?
I encourage you to ask your children to join you in this commitment. Here you’ll find a printable 7 Principles resolution chart. Ask your children to think about what they can do this year to put each principle in action. Encourage them in fulfilling these resolutions and talk to them about the importance of their choices and actions. Put this sheet on your refrigerator and reference it regularly in your conversations with your children.
And best of all, when your children and/or you actually meet these resolutions, celebrate! Enjoy the fact that you are a part of a religion that is pertinent and active… a religion that encourages the best in all of us.
Mark LaPointe, Director of Religious Education