Sunday, June 25, 2017
Unitarian Universalism and the good life and good death
For me consideration of the end of my life left me feeling full of gratitude and thinking of all the people I was grateful to and wanted to say good bye to. It dawned on me that getting to the end of one's life and being full of gratitude is the sign and largest criterion for what we call "the good life."
The "good life" is one, the philosopher's tell us, comprised of virtue. Has one lived a life based on honesty, kindness, compassion, effort, good work, appreciation of beauty, recognition of evil, and awareness of one's Higher Power?
A life of reverence is better than a life of cynicism although cynicism has its place. "Don't mistake my being kind for being a fool," is an important principle. However, love and forgiveness trumps everything else.
Facing one's imminent death focuses one's attention and priority setting becomes much more desired. What is really important? "Will this make a difference after I am dead for the world left behind" becomes the navigational North Star by which one can make decisions.
People have said that they never started living until they were faced with their imminent death. Nothing focuses one's attention as well on what is really important.
What does Unitarian Universalism have to teach us about how to die well? Having lived a life based on the seven principles and using the six sources is a blessing. Perhaps Unitarian Universalism could flourish more if it promoted its principles as a way of life that leads to a good death full of satisfaction and fulfillment because of a life well lived.