Interdependence has come to be a central part of modern-day Unitarianism, and we are just beginning to unpack and understand what it means. Our 7th principle calls us to a ‘respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.’ But even as we say those words, we need to acknowledge the void out of which they arose…that is, an increasing and scary lack of mindfulness with regard to that interdependence.
To become more mindful is to live with the awareness that we are constantly being influenced by all that interacts with us, and that simultaneously, we are influencing and affecting all with which we interact. There is a give-and-take to existence, constantly. What happens next…tomorrow, next year, next millennium…depends on the ways in which we interact with all things and beings. And so it matters, and matters greatly, that we practice compassionate and accountable interdependence.
In this community of faith, we are reminded that connecting with each other is central to being human, and that spiritual growth, while possible by oneself, is deepened and strengthened in community. Our theology is relational. Our theology insists that we exist in an ocean of interdependence. As Brene Brown says in “Braving the Wilderness,” we show up for collective moments of joy and pain so we can bear witness to our inextricable connection. Being together allows us to catch enough glimpses of connection that we believe it’s true and possible for us.
We are called to make community…inextricable connection in moments of both joy and pain…a primary focus of our lives. May this be a place that helps us to penetrate the illusion of separateness, and to truly experience our interdependence.