Social Justice Readings
Compiled by Laura Castle
To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy, a whole heart and a free mind.
Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.
I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
In these days of difficulty, we Americans everywhere must and shall choose the path of social justice. ..the path of faith, the path of hope and the path of love toward our fellow man.
We must use our time creatively and forever realize that the time is always right to do right.
Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future and the future is ours.
In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same.
It is not enough to be compassionate, you must act.
If you are trying to transform a brutalized society into one where people can live in dignity and hope, you begin by empowering the most powerless. You build from the ground up.
I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is : If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data. But, if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power and incalculable odds to restore some semblance of grace, justice and beauty to this world.
Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each others welfare, social justice can never be attained.
The challenge of Social Justice is to evoke a sense of community that we need to make our nation a better place, just as we make it a safer place.
I don’t mind expressing my opinion and speaking out against injustice. I have always understood myself as having an obligation to stand on the side of the silenced, the oppressed and the mistreated.
The chalice lighting words are set up in styles that are most suitable to certain types of committees, but any of them may be used by anyone. These are presented to you courtesy of your Spirituality Task Force.
There is a three-ring Binder in the UU library that contains these readings.
To download any or all chalice lighting words in .PDF or MS Word format, return to the Chalice Lighting home page: HERE