“There is guidance for each of us, and by lowly listening we shall hear the right word. Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which flows into your life. Then without effort, you are impelled to truth and perfect contentment” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
October is Deep Listening month. Let’s consider becoming, “A people of Deep Listening.” The Emerson quote is one of my favorites. Emerson was a Unitarian and leader of the Transcendentalist movement, the idea that all of nature and all of us are infused, inseparable from, the divine. Wow! Today we might say that there is a spark of divinity in us all. A good reason to love our neighbors as ourselves. And to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. A good reason to dismantle racism and all other forms of oppression.
Our weekly Religious Education themes revolve around Deep Listening: Listen to Your Heart (Principle #2—Justice, equity and compassion in human relations); Listen to black, indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) voices and the proposed 8th UU Principle ; Listen to Nature (Our 7th Principle--Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.); and Listen to Our Ancestors (UU Source #2--Words and deeds of prophetic people which challenge us to confront power and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.
While some folks, especially parents and essential workers, are finding themselves more stressed than ever, for others, COVID-19 has given us the opportunity to listen lowly. To find a still small voice, to take stock of our lives. I hope this month, as our worship services and Religious Education programs focus on paying attention to the voices within and wise voices of others, that you find some guidance, the power and courage to act upon it and the satisfaction and contentment that comes as a result.
With a listening heart,