Nuns and "Nones" Make a Difference
This week the “Nuns on the Bus” visited Columbus calling for changes to the federal budget. This small group of older women who do charity work was largely unknown until recently. After wondering how they could make a difference, the nuns reached out with compassion to build community on a national level. Many of us who check “none” for religion have hopes for making life better here and now. Humanists value secularism, ethics, reason, science, compassion, community, the environment, and democracy with “liberty and justice for all.” That’s a lot to take on, especially with so many powerful opposing forces in society. What influence can Humanists have?
Edward Everette Hale offers words of encouragement saying, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” Each of us has some things we can influence and some that we need to let go.
What are some things I can influence? I can promote secularism by living well as a Humanist. I can strive to lead an ethical life by doing no harm, respecting and loving others, making things better, and being working to be fair, honest, strong, and wise. I can make an effort to think critically and check the facts, logic, and clarity of claims on issues that are important to me. I can try to show compassion and build community with others by remembering to listen, offering words of support, and finding ways to help. I can protect the environment when I reduce, recycle, or reuse. I can help democracy by using the tools of democracy and being informed and informing others. I can support liberty and justice for all when I insist on civil rights and liberties and when I help make a welcoming place for diversity.
Coach John Wooden offered these words of encouragement in his autobiography (p. 68): “Perhaps you fret and think you can’t make a difference in the way things are. Wrong. You can make the biggest difference of all. You can change yourself. And when you do that you become a very powerful and important force-namely a good role model.” Coach Wooden built many strong basketball teams showing that by working together, we can make an even bigger difference.
Like the nuns, we "nones" can set an example in our own lives and reach out to others to build community.
Here is a link for information about “Nuns on the Bus.”
[This message was presented for Dial-A-Humanist by Derrick S.]