Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Doing good and feeling good can be two different things
Yesterday, at the church I used to go to, a faciltator from the district came to help people assess and reflect on the recent departure of several members including myself from the church.
There was a discussion about "healing", about our love for one another, about our all being a family. Some tears were shed because loss is painful, some mild anger expressed, and then nothing. Time was up.
I felt like I was in a therapy group. I didn't go there for therapy, I went there to problem solve. Maybe I am a typical male who likes to fix things while other people need to process their feelings. I am a therapist, have been for 40 years, so I try to attend to both, and this meeting was high on feelings and very light on problem solving.
Maybe this is what people needed and I am out of sync, but if Unitarian Universalism is to survive, especially in the small community of this church, it needs to get past its narcissism and get to work and I saw little evidence of an interest in doing that.
There is a danger in Unitarian Universalism of being too self indulgent, too self serving, too much about individual feelings and sensitivities. Maybe it isn't just about us, it's about the world. Maybe God is calling us to do some serious work and whatever our personal sensitivities might be, we have to suck it up in order to accomplish some mutual goals about how to achieve the common good.
Personally, after this meeting, I am more pessimistic than ever, not because these aren't good people, who don't mean well, who I don't love. I am pessimistic because I don't think they are going to get their act together and that requires more than just doing things that make us feel good. As Dr. Laura says, "Doing good and feeling good are often two different things."
Posted by David G. Markham at 8:46 AM