It’s nice to find that people you respect share your views, especially when those views may have raised some eyebrows among others you respect.
Occasionally, I get the impression that some people feel personally attacked when I (or someone else) suggests that the way we do things now might be profitably changed. Attack? Nothing could be further from the truth. When I say I think something might be done differently, I do it exactly because I hold our faith so dear, and want it to continue to offer its blessings to those who seek them.
I think Unitarian Universalism is very important. I think our faith could be saving to a lot of people. That’s why I want us to survive.
So, here’s a thought from UUA president Rev. Peter Morales, by way of Peter Bowden’s UUA Growth blog, that encourages me to continue doing what I do here.
I had a conversation last year with a famous expert on organizational change—Harvard professor has written a shelf full of books. And in that conversation he made a comment that has haunted me for a year. He observed that when an organization fails it is almost never its problems that kill it. What kills it is its past success. And what he meant was that problems tend to be technical and solvable, but that people have a tendency to hold onto the past, to old ways of doing things even when they’re no longer relevant because the past has become part of their identity. And this holding onto the past kills the organization. What are we hanging onto that no longer serves us?
We need to remind ourselves that our heroes and heroines were always people who knew how to let go, who saw new possibilities, and who were bold. The best way for us to honor the past is to be like them. To push for change, to forge a vision of a new future, and yes, to make trouble.
Unitarians and Universalists are heavily represented in the top ranks of notable religious and political thinkers in the United States, from Thomas Jefferson to Theodore Sorensen. But, Jefferson was first and foremost an iconoclast. Were he alive, he would not be doing the same things in the same ways today as he did in 1800. Why should we?