1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Liberal Quakers (93%)
3. Secular Humanism (93%)
4. Neo-Pagan (81%)
5. Theravada Buddhism (79%)
6. Taoism (76%)
7. New Age (73%)
8. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (73%)
9. Mahayana Buddhism (72%)
10. Nontheist (66%)
No surprises there, except maybe Liberal Quakers. Who knew I was so down with Liberal Quakers?
I have this morning off from my church gig, so I'm having a splendid morning alone with my oatmeal and tea and sunshine and fat cat. The Brit was up late with World of Warcraft--which he's being very disciplined about, playing sparingly--so he's still asleep. (I like it when he puts on his computer headphones and says "bye!" It's an accurate thing to say.) I believe the temperature has already jumped about 40 or 50 degrees from where it was a few days ago, and it's going to keep going up. Unless you've spent a lot of time below zero, you can't truly know how good 38F feels. I'm just saying.
I usually have to sing at two services on Sunday mornings, which means that by the second service I am often using the time to make little notes to myself, or to read, or knit, or whatever (if I'm sitting up in the balcony). I've got some notes from several weeks ago when I started thinking about specifically defining my values. At the top of the page I wrote "ubuntu," which is one of those words that I heard or read one day--at the gym in a three year old issue of Ode, no less--and then the next day it seemed to be everywhere, including that day's sermon. (I missed Bill Clinton telling Westerners that we needed ubuntu a few years back.) Here's what Desmond Tutu has to say about ubuntu:
Ubuntu is very difficult to render into a Western language. When we want to give high praise to someone we say, "Yu u nobuntu": "Hey, so-and-so has ubuntu." Then you are generous, you are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, "My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in what is yours"...We say, "A person is a person through other persons"...A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.Then I wrote a list of charges to myself. It looks like this:
- Do not cherish your pain. It inhibits forgiveness and progress.
- Enjoy this very moment.
- Understand that sorrow is part of life, that emotion is tidal, and let go of losses and regrets as soon as possible.
- Do not poison your body.
- Participate in your community. If you don't have one, get one.
- Nurture your gifts.
- Call out anyone who makes a racist, sexist, homophobic comment. Words are powerful and people need to understand that.
- Interrogate your own racism, sexism, homophobia, or whatever. You have assumptions, not answers. No one is served by your rigid pronouncements.
- FACE DIFFICULT TRUTHS.
- MAKE CLEAR DECISIONS.
- Make and Do. Understand what "enough" is. Work and save for things you want, but do not buy into LIFESTYLES.
- Continue to figure out ways to live conscientiously, even when it causes discomfort or friction between you and others.
- Some anxiety is warranted but most of it is of your own invention. Feed it with exercise [thank you Marigoldie].
My parents, those sweethearts, had their 34th wedding anniversary yesterday. We gave them a gift certificate from Kiva, so that they can choose a microloan to fund and potentially keep reinvesting it in people's projects forever. I am so pumped about this as a gift.
On a related note, I just found out about Zopa, a social finance website where you can borrow or invest money. A $500 certificate of deposit is currently getting a 5.10% interest rate, and when you invest, you select borrowers (who have to meet credit requirements) that your investment will benefit. You get a guaranteed payout and you help other people achieve their financial goals. What's not to like? As Paul Wellstone said, "we all do better when we all do better." That's ubuntu, Minnesota-style.