Our congregation’s social action team is working with a Cleveland agency, hoping to support a refugee family in making the transition from chaos to safety, from might-makes-right to the rule of law. Social justice, reaching out to the disenfranchised, is the common spiritual practice of Unitarian Universalism. There are so many worthy people, groups, issues who need help. How do we decide? We trust our hearts. What speaks deeply to my heart energizes me when I get involved. And we have to trust one another and the Great Heart to pay attention to those beyond our reach. Mentoring refugees speaks to my heart for two reasons:
(1) My father was a refugee from Soviet Georgia, mentored by an older Russian couple.
(2) because of the Boston bombers, whose family were probably economic refugees from Chechnya – a very short though dangerous drive from my father’s home, with the same tribal worldview.
Those of us raised with the rule of law may have difficulty imagining the worldview of might-makes-right. And yet that’s who we’re facing in Syria, in organized crime, in impoverished inner cities. How do we help create social networks and learning opportunities to teach the mindset of the rule of law to those looking for asylum, looking for hope, the practices that will make the beautiful vision of democracy possible. The Boston bombing was a wake up call to me. I haven’t known how to help. I hope our congregation will mentor a refugee family. We can make a difference.
Photo by Fabio Sola Penna