How do we bridge from I to Thou and on to We?
More than any other challenge we’ve faced in the history of humankind, the unfolding climate catastrophe requires us to collaborate. Survival of our species and countless others demands that we tap our higher order capacity to muster compassion and inspire community on a global scale.
That may feel like an overwhelming challenge, but Commit2Respond offers a simple way forward: we must each make three commitments.
First, each of us needs to do our part to lower carbon pollution. The course humanity is currently on will lead to ruin. Yet our individual actions add up—not only in their tangible impact but in the hopeful spiritual ripples they send forth that lend encouragement to others. And integrating our beliefs with our actions is essential to our own sense of wholeness.
That’s why we all need to make a new commitment to SHIFT to a low carbon future.
We also need to side with our siblings whose rights have been chronically denied, and follow the leadership of those already feeling the effects of climate change and environmental degradation. We will all be impacted, but the hardship will surely not be borne equally. As people of faith and conscience, we have a responsibility to care for each other and work together in solidarity.
That’s why we all need to make a new commitment to ADVANCE the human rights of affected communities.
Finally, as deeply committed as you and I might be, we surely cannot bring about a global revolution in values, lifestyle, and policy by ourselves. We must blend our energy, our influence, and our clear moral voices into a great chorus for change that inspires and empowers others.
That’s why we all need to make a new commitment to GROW the climate justice movement.
This week we begin making new commitments for climate justice. I invite you to begin where you are. Do what you can, large or small, as you are able. But please look for at least one thing you might do to SHIFT to a sustainable future; one thing that might ADVANCE human rights; and one thing that will help GROW a movement that can change our world.
We’ve never faced a challenge like this before, but we can succeed. The history of great social change tells us that we need to start with ourselves; we need to privilege the knowledge and ideas of those who are most directly affected; and we need to build alliances that can change moral norms and reshape policies. We need to bridge from I to Thou to We, all three.
Please visit Commit2Respond.org and join me in registering your new commitments today.
Rev. Brock Leach is the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s executive consultant for mission, strategy, and innovation.
Today’s practice is to make your new commitments for climate justice. We’ve spent the last month together moving through a spiritual process leading to discernment of what our next steps are, no matter how much or how little we feel we have contributed up to now. Now it is time to stretch ourselves and commit to our next actions to shift, advance, and grow.
Make your commitments now. If you’ve already made commitments, take time today to invite others to join you.
We are nearing the close of Commit2Respond's Climate Justice Month, a transformative spiritual process leading to long-term commitments to climate justice. Now is the time to commit to respond to climate change. How will you SHIFT to a low carbon future, ADVANCE human rights, and GROW the movement?