Why then are there only 211,000 adherents in North America, according to a USA Today article in October 2012, especially when over 600,000 of U.S. adults identified as Unitarian Universalist in the 2001 American Religious Identification Survey? It’s a complex question with multiple, nuanced responses. My experiences in both staff and lay leadership positions have taught me that the answer lies in two areas of struggle: too much dualism and not enough love.
I play in a band called THIN AIR. This 5-piece ensemble draws from an extensive vocal and instrumental repertoire to create improvised music out of “thin air.” On the surface, this might sound like chaotic fun, but in fact, it’s a practice of intense collaboration that holds many lessons for life beyond music. Collaboration, liked improvised music, can be marvelous and beautiful— more textured and complex, more available talent and instruments, unexpected and lush surprises, and more.
So how do two people with such different backgrounds make it work? Well, Eric and I are still figuring it out and still talking about it. But we agree on one thing in particular…you’ve got to support each other’s personal growth even when it scares you. Let me say that again…you have to actively support your partner’s dreams and aspirations, even when, especially when you are fearful about what those changes might mean for you personally.