- The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
- Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
- We believe that each and every person is important.
- We believe that all people should be treated fairly and kindly.
- We believe that we should accept one another and keep on learning together.
- We believe that each person must be free to search for what is true and right in life.
- We believe that all persons should have a vote about the things that concern them.
- We believe in working for a peaceful, fair, and free world.
- We believe in caring for our planet Earth, the home we share with all living things.
As part of our blog series The Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism, I would like to share my thoughts on the ‘Adult’ version and ‘Child-Friendly’ version of the Principles. Maybe it’s just my child-like mind, but I prefer the simplicity and straightforward readings of the children’s version. For example, when talking to my sons about this (8, 4 and 4) they immediately grasp the children’s versions, as well they should. But talking to adults, it seems much more thought goes into understanding what they mean.
Perhaps it’s good that, as adults, we need to think about what the Principles mean and more reflection is needed to internalize them. Most Unitarian Universalists need to analyze, dissect and discuss before accepting statements as truth. We prefer to know rather than believe. So let’s remove the belief from the statements:
- Each and every person is important.
- All people should be treated fairly and kindly.
- We should accept one another and keep on learning together.
- Each person must be free to search for what is true and right in life.
- All persons should have a vote about things that concern them.
- We should work for a peaceful, fair and free world.
- We should care for our planet Earth, the home we share with all living things.
To steal from a great document: We hold these (above) truths to be self evident. As UU’s we can still analyze, dissect and discuss the principles, but now the discussion would be more on implementation and not meaning. How do we treat people? How do we keep learning together? How do we create a peaceful, fair and free world?
When we talk about Unitarian Universalism to others, we can give them the nuggets of truth in our principles. There is no need to explain what we value, it’s very obvious. Our own ‘Shared Values, Many Beliefs’ is a great way to summarize our congregation; the children’s principles are a great way to summarize our values.