I have been on study leave this week and one of the books I have been reading is Rabbi Edwin Friedman’s Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix. Like many of the thinkers and doers I tend to favor, Friedman always looks at the world through the lens of relationships and systems– always looking at the organicism of our living. We are not discrete individuals connected in mechanistic ways. We are inherently interconnected, full of relationality and embedded in a complicated web of relationship and becoming. For a
tradition like UUism, so predicated on the values of the individualism, how do we reconcile our cherished beliefs and adapt to a world now revealed to be far more relational and connected than our ancestors imagined? For me, Friedman helps address some of these tensions between individual and community.
Bold, healthy communities are not created or nurtured by the elimination of self– members are not self-less people or selfish people. Instead, these communities are filled with self-full people. Like the different, differentiated cells of our body that cooperate to maintain our complex human body, the health of a community requires healthy “cells’ that are what they are, fulfilling their function and maintaining their cell walls again infections and viruses. There is even is a 6 minute video using stick-figures explaining some of Friedman’s theories: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgdcljNV-Ew
How is your “self” doing? How’s your nucleus feeling? Are your cell walls okay, too rigid, too porous? What help do you need to maintain your boundaries? What help do you need to let love in?
This Sunday, Avonelle Tomlinson and Natures’ Compass, our pagan group, lead worship, performing a Beltane Ritual, honoring Mother Earth as She explodes into fertility! Join in as UUFSC shares the joyful exuberance of this season! If you like, wear some flowers in your hair…