Monday, February 9, 2009

Morning Meditation - Do you love enough to see?

"I was also overwhelmed at the astonishing depth of suffering amongst the people I was called to serve and how hidden from others that suffering often was." p.99

Rebecca Ann Parker, Blessing The World

I tell my Social Work students, "You will have your nose in the asshole of humanity all the time. Are you up for that?"

Like cops, nobody calls a Social Worker on a good day when they are celebrating. They usually call when they are in crisis and there is a tragedy in the works.

And that suffering is hidden and when it erupts in violence, it makes the news and everyone tsks tsks and says, "How can people do things like that?" Do you really want to know? If you do, I and my colleagues can tell you, but most people don't want to know and when they can't avoid it anymore they minimize and deny the pain and suffering of others even when it is happening right in front of them.

In Unitarian Universalism we value the inherent worth and dignity of every human being. In Social Work, we do too. We believe in justice, equity, and compassion in human relations, in Social Work, we do too. We believe in the right of conscience and the democratice process, in Social Work, we do too. We have a respect for the interdendent web of all existence, in Social Work I was taught the person-in-situation and the biopsychosocialspiritual model. We believe in the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all, and in Social Work this value is captured in the Code of Ethics. We believe in the search for the free and responsible search for truth and meaning, and in Social Work, we are the scavenger fish of the professions stealing from all the disciplines.

What is the difference between Unitarian Universalism and the Social Work profession since the values are so similar if not identical? Social Work values are based on 100 years of professional experience, and Unitarian Universalist values are based on thousands of years of perennial wisdom. Social Work values are based on empirical experience and Unitarian Universalist values are based on theology which gives rise to faith.

Both Social Work and Unitarian Universalism should equip a person to see the suffering that is right before his/her eyes and the impulse to alleviate it borne out of compassion and better yet, love.

1 comment:

  1. I have more faith in social workers in seeing the suffering than UU's. I see too many UU's as having empathy for a lot of situations but no action ... no more or less than other religious groups.
    In fact, I might even say Catholics have a better understanding of suffering than UU's. What do you think?