Continued Acts of Decency

10529-The-Kingdom-Of-God-Is-Within-YouWe go to Unitarian church.

For those who don’t know, Unitarian Universalists are a small religious group. Rooted in Judeo-Christian origins, the faith has expanded to be quite all-encompassing. A spiritual haven for Catholic refugees, families with blended religious traditions, seekers, helpers, Buddhists, lovers of Jesus, secular humanists who want to do good for others in this life, and more.

Me? I enjoy the ritual of sitting silently in the pews each week. Of staring at the stained glass windows and mediating on the meaning of the verses that line the walls:

The kingdom of God is within you.

All God asks is that you do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.

Last week we had a guest minister. He was an Episcopalian priest and the former dean of the school of theology at Cambridge. Smart dude.

He talked a lot of the hateful political climate in our nation.

He said what can one person do?

And the answer was this.

Continued acts of decency.

Be decent.

The words rang in my head. I snatched a pencil to scribble them on the order of service.

Be decent.


I thought about my dad and mom. We don’t always agree about policy or politics. But I will say this. They are decent. They are kind. They are respectful. They are nothing like the current tone of political discourse (if you want to call it that) at this time.

Be decent.

I lectured the girls about what it means to be decent. How in each moment we have the choice over and over and over and over and over again to be decent. To choose to be kind and loving and rise above it all.

In traffic I got mad. And the voice in my head said “Be decent.”

In the museum I was exhausted with the toddler, and I started to grab him and force his little body to do it my adult way. “Be decent,” said the voice. So I stopped.

I’ll never be perfect. I will always be flawed and messy and make huge and terrible mistakes. Just like all of us. But for now. On this day. In the context of a nation full of hate and racism and xenophobia and fear, I can do my best to be decent.

Please be decent with me. If enough of us do the good and right and loving thing that rings true in our hearts, maybe we can make America decent again.


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