Our chalice is a lamp,
lighting dark corners of ignorance;
We hold this sacred lamp,
applying knowledge with care
and abiding purpose.
Hymn 145, As Tranquil Streams, has the following lyrics:
Prophetic church, the future waits your liberating ministry;
Go forward in the power of love, proclaim the truth that makes us free.
A freedom that reveres the past, but trusts the dawning future more;
And bids the soul, in search of truth, adventure boldly and explore.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little… Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness… In the name of democracy, let us all unite!”
– Charlie Chaplin
“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
― Abraham Lincoln
“Democracy is in the blood of the Muslims, who look upon complete equality of mankind, and believe in fraternity, equality, and liberty.”
― Muhammad Ali Jinnah
“And when I speak, I don’t speak as a Democrat. Or a Republican. Nor an American. I speak as a victim of America’s so-called democracy. You and I have never seen democracy – all we’ve seen is hypocrisy. When we open our eyes today and look around America, we see America not through the eyes of someone who has enjoyed the fruits of Americanism. We see America through the eyes of someone who has been the victim of Americanism. We don’t see any American dream. We’ve experienced only the American nightmare.”
― Malcolm X
from Jeff Liebmann
The list of famous Unitarian Universalist thinkers runs long and deep in every field of human inquiry. But, thought without reflection breeds vanity and false pride. And ideas without the wisdom of application allow tyrants to run unchecked and the immoral to prey on the innocent.
Unitarian Universalism stands not just for unfettered research and learning; we stand for careful consideration of consequences. The hands that splice genes can unleash monstrous outcomes and the mind capable of splitting atoms can also lay waste to cities.
Education has the power to level all inequalities in life, but only if pursued with good intent and abiding will. Only the search for knowledge and wisdom will yield the fruits of meaning. And that harvest can soothe the greatest hurt and heal the deepest wound.
Mindfulness and Action
On this fourth day of Chalica, we affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. You’re invited to select one of the questions or suggestions below for conversation with others or personal reflection. Suggestions for activities with children are included. Consider giving a gift that honors another tradition or promotes learning and education.
• Can I take time to learn about, or participate in an event that celebrates another religion or tradition?
• What do I know or love that I can teach others?
• What knowledge or talent have I wanted to learn and what is stopping me from doing so?
• Can I give the gift of literacy to someone through volunteering? Can I donate a book or media resource to my local public library?