Hi all, sorry again about being late. I really need to get better organized. I used to be better about that, not sure what happened. I did have to deal with another round of depression last week and this week, so that didn’t help. I’m hoping to get back on track now.
So, the Second Principle of UUism. It is; Justice, equity and compassion in human relations. I really like this one. “Compassion in human relations”, that sounds great. I think this is my favorite one. All too often, there is no compassion when dealing with people. We get treated as numbers in a spreadsheet, pledging units, and so on. Our very humanity is stripped from us. Our sole value is our economic output. Not very good for people.
Equity is an interesting choice of words. What does it mean? According to the folks over at Merriam-Webster define it as: fairness or justice in the way people are treated. Let’s compare it to equality: the quality or the quality or state of being equal : the quality or state of having the same rights, social status, etc.state of being equal : the quality or state of having the same rights, social status, etc. Equality would be like giving everyone a hundred bucks. Equity would be looking at who could most use that money and giving it to them. Well, equity needs to be paired with compassion. It’s not about making people equal, it’s a way of dealing with people by seeing their needs.
How about justice? That is an important word in this. Merriam-Webster defines it as: the quality of being just, impartial, or fair: the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action. We should deal justly and fairly with one another. Not because it is the right thing to do, although that helps. Because it is how we would want to be treated. This is the Golden Rule, do unto others as you would have done unto you. We should be doing all we can to treat those who are different the way we would want to be treated if the roles were reversed. Besides, who’s to say it won’t be you who is on the lower hand at some point?
So, let’s put this all together. Every time we interact with others, we should be seeking to be just, to be fair, to be equitable, and to be compassionate with them and with ourselves. I’m guilty of that, not being fair or compassionate to myself. We are people, even those of us who sometimes have trouble with that. We all deserve to be treated fairly, even when we don’t think we deserve it. I’ve been there too many times. Sometimes, we need to be reminded that we are worthy of being treated fairly and having our needs met.
We aren’t widgets put out by a factory. We aren’t all the same and we will have different needs. Treating someone fairly is to take those needs into account when deciding how to deal with others. Where are they coming from? Where are we coming from? How can we act so that we are being fair to the other person and ourselves? Who else might be affected by our actions? What does fairness look like when we include these people as well?
This follows directly from the First Principle, respect for everyone. When you respect someone, you treat them fairly and compassionately. You aren’t very likely to treat someone you don’t respect fairly or with compassion. This means that you can’t say these people or those people aren’t worthy of either respect or justice. This is a call to bring justice to the world. Justice for everyone, not only those with whom you agree.