Wandering Forth

Not quite two years ago, I once again felt that clarion call to be “an upstander.” In 2015 I had bowed out of a 22-year journey of speaking up about Unitarian Universalist clergy sexual misconduct. By then all signs were (and still are, to my knowledge) that the denomination was at last truly headed in a healthy direction — and I was worn to the bone.

Since I wrote that post, the question has been: how might I prudently do this work? How might I reengage without inflaming old, gaping wounds?

Gradually pieces have fallen into place — inspired in particular by Joanna Macy’s Work That Reconnects and her spiral of four stages:

  1. Coming from Gratitude,
  2. Honoring our Pain for the World,
  3. Seeing with New/Ancient Eyes, and (no surprise)
  4. Going Forth.

Meanwhile, my original purpose for this site was to explore “compassion in the cloud” — i.e., ways to use the World Wide Web to grow compassion. I still wish I could address this, but it turns out I don’t have the bandwidth to deal with social media. While social media is far from the only place to exercise compassion on the Web, it’s the hub of online cruelty — and, in Buddhist terms, cruelty is the “far enemy” of compassion.

Putting these pieces together, I’ve recently switched the site’s focus to “Wise Speech Going Forth” — in particular, aspiring to help others cultivate effective communication skills that make possible “sea-change on the far side of revenge.”