Each month, in our Spirit in Practice (SiP) Circles, we invite all of us to put our spiritual lives and our inner voices at the forefront of our days. There are many, many things that compete for our attention. But the soul, as Quaker Parker Palmer describes it, is like a wild animal. It is only when you stop and find a stillness that the soul emerges. Our monthly spiritual exercise reminds us to stop, find a stillness, and listen to the still, small voice within.
Engage our spiritual exercises this month as we explore the theme of Citizens.
Each week we will post a spiritual exercise. In each exercise, we are using a new version of the word “good.” Good meaning not solely selfish and not solely unselfish. Good meaning that I am for myself and I am for others. Will we engage in acts that benefit our goodness as well as the larger good?
Exercise: Being a “Good” Citizen
Watch a 5-minute video from a Harvard Kennedy School student, James Croft.
Reflect upon these questions:
- What do you hear in James Croft’s story?
- How is your story connected to Croft’s own personal story?
- How does Croft connect to the larger story in America right now?
- How is James Croft acting as a citizen?
- What values do you hear in his message?
James Croft’s video is featured in the keynote address of Dr. Marshall Ganz on Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association in June 2014. If you have time, consider watching the address. Once again, consider where you connect with Ganz’s message?
Deeper Dive Resources: The Deeper Dive is a way for you to reflect and connect. Listen within for which quote and question hooks you. Or draws you in. Then, consider meeting up with a few friends or joining a SiP Circle to sit with the questions and head others’ responses.
“When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that, in our democracy, government is us.” ~ President Barack Obama
- Question: In what moments of your life have you experienced the government as “us”?
In time for the 50th anniversary of Selma and the Civil Rights movement, listen to On Being’s interview with GWENDOLYN ZOHARAH SIMMONS AND LUCAS JOHNSON
- Question: Where in the stories of Simmons & Johnson do you hear your story?
“An anarchist government somehow creates an impression in the hearts of citizens that no one cares.” ~ Amit Kalantr
- Question: In what moments of your country’s life have you felt like no one cares? How have you accepted this notion? How have you refused this notion?
“We pay a price when we deprive children of the exposure to the values, principles, and education they need to make them good citizens.” – Sandra Day O’Connor
- Question: As a child, what did you need to learn in order to be a good citizen? Where were the places where you were taught important lessons on citizenship? What do you think are the building blocks to “build children whose lives matter” and “adults who care”?
“There is no reason to think a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens cannot change the world; Indeed, that’s the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead
- Question: Have you ever been a part of a small group of people who have changed the world – even if in a small way? What was your greatest lesson of this experience?
Like to learn more about Spirit in Practice? Contact Kimberly Rossiter, our Membership Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org.