Chalica Week One – Respect All People

Chalice Lighting

Within us all burns the fire of life.
We share this common flame,
symbol of our precious being.
Each flame burns with a unique glow,
signifying our respect for the
inherent worth and dignity of every person.

Reading, Quote & Song

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

“”And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about.” 
–– John Steinbeck

Hymn 131, Love Will Guide Us, has the following lyric:
If you cannot sing like angels,
if you cannot speak before thousands,
you can give from deep within you.
You can change the world with your love.


A frequent refrain in human art and literature is the idea that human beings are so busy, so beset with anxiety, so obsessed with the travails of daily life that we all miss how extraordinary and precious we all are. We are, these authors and artists would remind us, miracles walking the Earth. It is difficult to keep track of that fact, but it is one of those profound, true things that we have to hold in tension with the other experiences we have of being alive.

To be UU is to see the world through a lens that never takes for granted how special, how unique and how important every single person is. It sees people first and then the world around them, which those people have helped make. Consider how special a child seems to its parent, or how a person thinks of someone who they love. Imagine if you could see everyone that way. Imagine what it would mean if everyone you met saw you that way?

Mindfulness and Action

On this first day of Chalica, we affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. 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 a person in your life.

  • Are there people I don’t understand, and what can I do to bridge the divide between us?
  • Are there people with whom I have disagreements, and can I work to find a common path for us to walk together?
  • Is there someone I have disrespected to whom I can make amends? Someone who has helped me that deserves thanks or appreciation?
  • Is there someone who could benefit from my affirmation?