Many Ways to Celebrate
Day 26: Celebrate everywhere to make change everywhere
Faith as Fuel
As people committed to working for social justice it might seem difficult to celebrate everywhere because as people committed to working for social justice we see, think about or feel the pain of injustice. It may seem inappropriate to spread our love, worship with joy or dance and sing when we witness injustice, even more sore when the injustice is felt. Yet, celebration transforms: when we celebrate we lift up a vision of justice and fairness in human relations, the injustices and inequities of today are seen in relief, the way forward becomes clear. When we celebrate we are reaching out to others, welcoming them to join and add to a vision of justice and peace. To celebrate everywhere in our daily life – and especially when it is hard – is exactly what we must try to do to make the change happen that we wish to see in the world.
Sometimes celebration can seem impossible – it felt so for me during most of my life – for to celebrate in the face of injustice needs something that comes from within. That something is faith.
During most of my life I did not have faith – I believed I did not need it – so I could not see that my ability to celebrate in the face of injustice was compromised. Often when I experienced unfairness I'd get angry and spread my upset in the world. Usually when I witnessed injustice to others I'd grumble about it to myself and walk away. I thought injustice and unfairness was the human condition – and that my not loving the human condition was a rational response to a bad reality.
I did not see that the human condition is enveloped in a greater reality and built upon deeper truths, and I kept my love for myself, shared my anger with others, and – not surprisingly – brought myself to an impasse where happiness was impossible. During this time, when the unfairness of life seemed so overwhelming and unbearable that I wondered how I was surviving it at all, I accepted I that I must look outside of myself for answers. I began a meditative spiritual practice which led me recognize deeper truths of the human condition, and which led me to faith in the universality and immutable nature of those truths, and of love, in an impermanent universe.
Faith enables me to see how fortunate I am, faith energizes me to me reach out to others with love and compassion, faith empowers me to the purpose of making the human condition better, and faith steels my resolve to respond when I witness injustice or unfairness. From faith comes desire and need to celebrate the human condition as it is today, and as people committed to social justice will make it tomorrow.
I invite you to join me in celebration by living with awareness of the 7 Principles of Unitarian Universalism and mindfulness to put them in action, by standing on the side of love in the face of injustice, and by simply reaching out with love to the people around you.