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Spirituality Essay:

Honoring With Your Feet    ( April 2007 )

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We're familiar with "Voting With Your Feet." Now: "Honoring With Your Feet." You heard it here first, folks . . .

We live on this rich-in-so-many-ways Coast community with its abundance of activities available to enhance our spirits and lives. Most of these activities are carried by people who just love them . . . and largely volunteer their time and energy because they want to share this thing they love with others. Yoga classes, Symphony of the Redwoods, Buddhist Sangha meetings, weight and exercise classes, all the 12-Step programs, parent support groups, agency fund-raisers, the Alliance for Democracy, the Coast churches - our Fellowship for sure - and so many others.

It's human to view the product offered and measure it against what we want or need. Likely, we walk into one of these events, somewhat oblivious of all the energy and caring the organizers have put in beforehand to have it ready for us . . . unaware perhaps also how much our attendance and presence validates and honors what they've put out for us. Honoring them with our feet.

We're giving to three beneficiaries, actually, when we show up:

1) Us - whatever we get from it;

2) The organizers - with our valuing and honoring by being there, and

3) All those others present -- we're saying that we consider this important (everyone gets skittish . . . what's wrong with this?... if too few show up).

If we treat all these community resources the way we approach seeing a movie -- I'll go if it looks good and I'm in the mood (what's it got for me) - we're possibly a little out of touch with our UU "Quality of a Spiritual Life, #3" . . . using our lives to "be of service" to the world.

Of course, we shouldn't become self-sacrificing "do-gooders" . . . supporting others as primary. But, I think it's helpful to always be aware of our immense value to others, with just our presence.

And maybe when we're sitting on the fence about staying home or going and being a part of the group, pushing ourselves out the door.

And of course, telling the organizers, every now and then, thanks - letting them know what it means to you -- and sometimes offering to help out.

This is one in a series of essays on spirituality by Rick Childs, lay leader of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Mendocino Coast. You may want to:
Read more Spirituality Essays
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