For our monthly Faith Development Themes this year, we will be exploring our Unitarian Universalist Principles which we covenant to affirm and promote. Our theme for December is the Second Principle, “JUSTICE, EQUITY and COMPASSION in Human Relations,” or in our children’s version of the principles, “We believe that all people should be treated fairly and kindly.”

If we believe that all people are valuable and important, as we state in our first principle, then it follows that people deserve to be treated in a way that respects this importance. Justice means fairness, and starts with the idea that people are important and have rights. Justice deals with how we treat each other so that everyone’s rights are respected.

Like a coin, Justice has two sides: Rights and Responsibilities. Just as you have the right to be treated fairly, you also have the responsibility to treat others fairly. Think of the “Golden Rule”- “treat others as you would want to be treated.”

In promoting justice it’s helpful to think about the challenges to justice. Two challenges I would encourage you to consider this month are “we are often drawn to people like ourselves,” and “most people worry that there is not enough for everyone.” This second challenge is a mindset of scarcity, and it often motivates people to make sure they and “their people” have enough even if that means not sharing with others.

This month, when you encounter someone different from you try to find and focus on something that you have in common. Notice when you might not feel there is “enough” of something to share it. Consider why you feel that way. Try sharing anyway. What does that feel like?

Yours in faith,

Rev. Michelle George Yates