4 Ways Leaders Can Promote Vocational Careers in Communities

Group of Multiethnic Mixed Occupations People

In this economic climate and with a high number of graduates in the state, coaching in numerous vocations is the plausible resolution to unemployment. We can’t ignore the importance of apprenticeships and Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) in the community.

If vocational education works to increase the number of self-employed individuals and provides economic stability, then total freedom from poverty and unemployment may yet be achievable.

One of the significant advantages of vocational education is that it usually requires lesser time and money than other post-choices.

Vocational education can be a career path that allows individuals to further their education after high school without the time and money required for university education.

Vocational academic coaching programs are usually from several weeks to several years, after which students can earn a certification or associate’s degree.

Vocational Education Platforms

High School

Many high schools provide vocational education options to both juniors and seniors, either on-site or in conjunction with a career coaching center or college. This practice enables students to get immersed in following real-time graduation from a vocational educational program.

Community School

Many community facilities provide vocational career coaching programs, in addition to two years of associate programs.

Trade School

These are specialized training centers or technical institutes that specialize in one field, like woodworking, construction, engineering, or culinary arts.

Below are the four different ways leaders can promote vocational education and career in communities:

1. De-Stigmatization of Vocational Training

Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and apprenticeships don’t have a similar positive public image as university education.

People see school as the right path to success; parents (especially extremely educated ones) would possibly worry once their kids decide to choose vocational training instead.

Various misconceptions about vocational education make parents steer their kids away from these programs; meanwhile, vocational training may well be a better path to a stable job.

A public education campaign needs to be put in place to inform the community (particularly parents) concerning TVET as a viable post-school choice.

One way to counter negative perceptions about technical and vocational education and coaching (TVET) programs is to create awareness about them through better communication.

2. Community Colleges

Community colleges are public post-secondary establishments that give cheap vocational education through grants and scholarships for college students with financial limitations but exhibit high educational excellence. Students that attend their community should be eligible for the most affordable tuition, as in-district or in-country tuition.

3. Workshop Tools and Types of Equipment

The high demands of today’s human resources have created the need for skill training on various technologies relevant to their field.

These skills aren’t just learnable anywhere but in well-established workshops with the right tools, equipment, and machines. Workshop tools and pieces of equipment used in fields like woodworking, engineering, and construction for cutting, trimming, and drilling are essential to give it more stability and for effective implementation of programs.

4. Vocational Guidance

From recent graduates concerned with where to begin within the skilled world to people who are trying to realize profitable employment operating with mental or physical challenges, a vocational counselor can help spice up careers and confidence.

Vocational counselors help a person overcome personal obstacles, increase a talent set, and employment chances within the field of selection, among alternative duties.

Benefits of Vocational Training to the Community

1. Gain expertise

One of the benefits of vocational education is that instructors are typically field professionals. The chance to be trained by somebody who works within the field can offer you deep insight into what it takes to achieve success in such jobs. Most programs embrace internships that may allow you to gain expertise within a particular field. You can earn credits or perhaps employment as a result of this expertise.

2. Better Possibilities of Employment

Research has shown that vocational skills have a positive impact on a person’s chances of employment. New skills and competencies will extend choices for skilled advancement and provide extra career selections. There are indications that VET might contribute to reducing state unemployment and prevent individuals from being fired in the first place.

3. A Positive Influence on Education among Families

One curious outcome of vocational education is its impact on successive generations. It seems that people who invest in VET programs have a stronger tendency to provide learning activities for their kids and dedicate themselves to providing an enabling environment than people who don’t.

4. VET Provides Mental, Health, and Social Group Advantages

Vocational training also assists people to develop social competencies and improve mental health-related behaviors. It will have a positive impact on a person’s motivation, attitude, and confidence, particularly among the unemployed.


Adult Enrichment


Spiritual Reality offers an opportunity for spiritual exploration and growth through selected readings and commentary by the group. Those who attend are encouraged to comment on the readings and/or share their personal concerns. We are not a therapy group, but a group of caring friends who come together to listen and to learn. Please join us on Sunday mornings at 9:30AM in the Emerson Room.


Humanism is a progressive life-stance that, without super-naturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead meaningful, ethical lives capable of adding to the greater good of humanity.

-American Humanist Association


What Makes Pool A Perfect Sport For Leaders

If there are people that should play more sports then it is the leaders. These are people who all eyes are on them when it comes to leadership and critical decision-making processes. You should remember that these are people who also have a life away from the leadership platforms. What they do in their free time that could be an activity that complements their lifestyle-leadership. The pool is one such game that every leader would try and engage in either as a hobby or as a sport of choice. This is because it is a game that supports social interaction – very important for a leader among other reasons. In case you have no idea about where to even get a pool table and its equipment than some reviews here http:/www.bestpingpongtables.review/pool/cues/ come in handy.

Health experts say that it is a must-try table game for leaders for it gives them the chance to develop some skills that can be applied in leading people. What are some of the benefits that are essential in the leadership process?

Builds one’s focus

The pool is one game that you cannot just play when you are on your phone. You will lose big time. It is a sport that you have to be keen on details. The prolonged playing of this game comes in handy to make sure that you are focused on what you do even in daily life. As a leader, then you are sure that you will focus on the needs of your juniors such that when you make decisions you have their interests at heart.

Works on improving critical thinking skills

This is a game that you need to understand how to hold a cue stick in line with the ball such that you measure the strength and the angle in which you will hit the ball to reach the target. This is the critical thinking skills required in leadership. What happens if this is what you do daily? You will be one leader whose decisions are always on point.

Maintains good physical, mental and emotional health

This is a sport that always helps to burn calories and maintains a good weight and further proper physical health. As long as a leader is healthy and emotionally stable then you will not doubt his ways of making sure that the people he leads are comfortable, thanks to the proper decision-making process.

Keeps the leaders young

The moment you age prematurely as a leader, it has a direct effect on your emotional health. This is the reason you need to play this game to always be young and fresh. It has an impact on improving confidence levels and enhancing one’s self-esteem.

Sharpens the mind and brain of a leader

This is a game that is also classified as a brain game after table tennis. This means that it has an impact on improving cognitive skills which in turn sharpens the brain. Can you doubt the decisions of a leader with a sharp brain? With all these benefits, you are sure that a leader who engages in this sport will be one person that everyone admires and supports at all costs.


Ideas For Community Leaders To Help Woodworkers

A woodworker is an artist who creates a variety of items such as tables or furniture made of wood, laminates or artificial wooden products. Many of the techniques they adopt have been learned in high schools throughout the world. Many wooden shops have permanently shut down in recent times forcing them to learn through universities, internships, and experimentation.

Why should work workers need help?

Proper training and education must be provided to woodworkers so that they are knowledgeable and have the basic technical understanding to work on diagrams and manuals. Workers must be well-coordinated by hand to cast iron wings in table saws, create accurate cuts; correctly assemble items and furniture; adapting and calibrating mechanical skills; physical resistance and endurance.

It is also important for a woodworker to have technical logic and aptitude, as they use different types of modern tools. A tool in the hands of a worker without knowledge or inexperience is simply a nightmare. Proper workshops should be provided to ensure they understand engineering theories and should be able to implement them to solve all the problems they face. Reasoning skills are also essential because woodworkers can face unforeseen issues that must be dealt with quickly. It helps them to use logic and reasoning to predict defects and come up with solutions before malfunctions happen.

Ideas are taken by leaders for woodworkers

Community leaders must provide them with modern tools to ensure the final products meet standards. If the community leaders provide them with modern tools, they will have a good knowledge of making designs, blueprints, drawings, and sketches. This in turn help woodworkers improve the woodworking industry as they will have the ability to operate modern tools and machines. A skilled woodworker can often take several years of preparation as learning takes place with experience of the designs and job sequences. When a worker wants to advance in the profession and display skills in the industry, he or she can even choose to become certified.

Woodworking as an industry has an eco-friendly relationship for living. They always value the earth and wants us to be safe, but advanced woodworking tools put a burden on them. Green woodworking which is an ancient practice is getting huge popularity which considered outdated by many woodworkers. This challenges modern woodworking tools (like that on bestcabinettablesaw.com/planer-reviews/) and provides an eco-friendly approach to woodworking. This option makes unprocessed wooden products using hand tools. This might not be as productive as traditional woodworking and finishing a product may take some, but the feeling of success and the experience you gain from practicing green woodworking makes all this worthy.


For the development of wood products, community leaders should encourage woodworkers during project planning processes so that they are aware of the mathematical, arithmetical, algebraic, measurements. Woodworkers can benefit from computer knowledge and the understanding of the modern wooden industry by reviewing tasks, activities and word processing. So community leaders are coming up with several ideas to make them thorough, skillful, steady-handed and also helping them to create products to make our environment eco-friendly!


How Ironing Clothes Can Make Or Break The Image Of An Organization’s Leaders

The respected and the responsibility of the leader is determined on his or her characters. As we all know leaders must be exemplary, and also there is no way you can manage others before you manage yourself, love others before you love yourself. Furthermore, for proper communication smartness matters a lot in that people consider smart people to be with smart brain and ideas which they can listen to. Therefore, the good image of the leader can be seen on ironing clothes to remove the wrinkles as a sign of responsibility. This can be better achieved by the use of steam iron which is well proven to bring about the efficiency as required by most of the people.

Business group greets leader with clapping and smiling

Perception of the people towards leaders with wrinkled clothes
Leadership combines many things, it does not only mean being on top of people but also includes the way you influence others using your characters as well known that leaders are exemplary. The people will copy what you For example, being carefree in terms of dressing and actions have a negative impact on your subjects. However, among those subjects, some will start disapproving your ideas and seeing you as being irresponsible. Therefore, this makes them not paying attention to your ideas, suggestions, and instructions and trust you in any project management just because you cannot manage yourself. Furthermore, may even fail to give a speech in the public where Congress is full of smart people with well-ironed clothes as you will consider yourself as the old man out There is also a perception that smart persons deliver smart ideas hence they will not be attentive to what you are telling them.

Where leaders can make their investments on cloth ironing tools There is a golden chance that there are modern steam irons which are now online ready to be purchased by those who really need to look smart because person’s cloth means a lot to the public and also yourself you become confident after seeing yourself smart and respected. These irons are well trusted with many advantages such as they can produce over 1800-watts which are powerful and remove the wrinkles easily on all fabrics types, their stainless steel soleplate is able to glide on the clothes, they were manufactured with safety features which prevent damage after use and also conserves power.

For example, it shuts down in 8 minutes when horizontal and 30 seconds when vertically. Furthermore, it is able to control specific fabrics such as silk, cotton, nylon, and wool using its one-touch.

As a leader, you have to look smart on well-ironed clothes where those you are leading can appreciate. This can make them respect you, consider you as a responsible leader basing on your smartness and also see you as someone with smart ideas as most of the people “judge a book by its cover hence consider smart people to be with smart ideas. Though ironing takes time and sometimes difficult, you are granted opportunity of the modern steam irons (http://www.bestgarmentsteamerreviews.net/professional-steam-iron) which can simplify the work in just small time but with greater efficiency.


Things To Consider When Planning To Buy Smokers For Community Gatherings

Organizing a community gathering will most likely require serving foods and of course, you will always have to serve sumptuous dishes for everyone to enjoy. It is undeniable that smoked dishes is one of the most requested dishes for such gathering but serving it for a large crowd is not easy. It’s good to know what to look for before rushing and buying a smoker; otherwise, you may end up with a smoker that does not last long or does not meet your cooking expectations. There is no perfect network, it all depends on your needs, your resources, your priority and the frequency with which you will use it. However, you should try to find as many factors as you can before making this purchase.

First, you should ask yourself how often you will cook and how many people you will serve primarily. The bigger the smoker, the more power it has But it will also take more space and will cost more. So, if you do not need all this power unless you’re really interested in cooking and do it mostly for large portions, most of the time you do not need a big smoker. This way, you can save more money instead of paying more for a cooking space that you would not even use frequently. And most of the time, those who have more burners tend to have cold spots, which leads to uneven cooking. Therefore, it is recommended to have at least 2 heating zones on average. Having 2 burners is enough to have enough space to cook a handful of food at the same time and more efficient heat distribution. If space is small, Brinkmann gourmet smoker is one of the most recommended because despite its size (small), it is a reliable brand and doesn’t cost much compared to other smokers.

A smoker that has many features have of course tend to cost more. Try to find the characteristics of the grids and determine which ones you really need and use frequently. So, before buying a barbecue, try to ask yourself if you really need these extra features and would you really use this feature? Some good features to consider are if a smoker can also run on natural gas or at least if it is available to convert the machine to natural gas. In this way, when you use the gas smoker, you will also have the advantage of using natural gas as fuel. Do you also have a cleaning or maintenance system such as the easy to empty and clean tank? You need to clean and maintain your machine regularly, so it is beneficial to have this feature, as keeping your smoker clean will also help extend its useful life and it is very convenient to do it regularly. Built-in counter and thermometer, side shelves and side burners are additional features. Some may have a rotisserie burner and a smoking box, which can really maximize your smoker experience, but they are expensive and you will not use it most of the time.

Brand Name
The brand will also be useful to guarantee the quality of the smoker. But do not limit yourself to looking for brands. Find out if any of these manufacturers have a website and a customer service number to communicate with them easily. But be patient when contacting your customer service for information and help.

Now that you know the factors to consider, you are now ready to discover the best smoker on the market for your community gatherings. You can try to find out a little about the potential gas smoker you want to buy to find out if it’s right for you.


What If Every Household In A Community Use Touch-less Faucet

This is a kind of tap that has been designed with a more technical skill to ensure it can be opened without the use of the hand. It is fixed with a sensory infrared technology that is capable of detecting any slight movement of your hand. This simply means that you will not have to touch the tap manually to turn it on, the sensor will always help you to do the rest. The touchless faucets can currently have been seen installed in hotels,r public washrooms and even in the airports. Now let’s focus on the benefit of Touch-less.

A faucet as we shall list them below.
1. Saves on water
One of the main challenges we had with the traditional tap system was that it was not good enough if someone needed to economize on the amount of water they use. I try to imagine if the whole community could have been using the Touch-less Faucet, we could not have wanted all that amount of water. The technicality of this kind of tap is that it’s designed with the ability to maintain a low flow of water so as to minimize any leakage that may occur. Unlike the common water taps which have a high flow of water and it will which increase the amount of water spillage.

2. Helps in fighting the germs
opening your tap every time you want to wash either your utensils or any other thing may result to deposits of germs in on the handles of your tap, this may risk your chances of contacting several diseases related to germs. But if you happen to equip your home with a touchless faucet, then trust me, you can always open the tap even if you are just from the farm by moving your hands in the direction where you want the tap to be opened and your water will keep running. If a community can adapt this kind of faucet, then most of the disease that is reported can always be prevented.

3. They are very easy to install
Installing the automatic isn’t expensive as the normal faucets we are used to, this is because it comes with written instructions to guide you on how effectively to install it either on your bathroom or on your kitchen. So you will not let the community know that you had purchased one by looking all around to see if you can find someone to help you with the installation process. This is a good choice if you’re the system you are operating deals with battery power.

4. They have an affordable price
Perhaps when you walked into your supermarket to get your faucets, you may have found so many types of either kitchen or bathroom faucets. One advantage you will enjoy when you want to purchase this product is that its price is considerably cheaper and can be managed by anyone. When you check on the online store, you will always find the best choice at an affordable price

5. Save the money you spend on water and electricity bills
You can buy faucets that work with either 12, 9, or 6 voltage, it all depends on the type you purchase. When you buy a faucets having low flow, you will genuinely reduce the amount of water that goes to waster due to spillage. This will help you save on extra cost that you can use to perform some of your projects.

I believe this is very important that every member of a community needs to own in order to save the environment. Enough finding one was harder, but currently, you can always make your purchases by consulting your most favorable online store to get yours delivered to your doorstep. With this, the whole world will always be safe as the ecological balance will be maintained


Games Using Table Tennis Robots For The Community

Most likely everybody can profit by the utilization of a robot in the event that they utilize it sensibly. A portion of the colossal advantages of table tennis robots are plot beneath, so in the event that you need to be persuaded, or need to persuade your folks or mentor that a robot is advantageous, perused on and you will see the best advantages. If it can benefit individuals, all the more that it can benefit a whole community. Sport is a powerful tool to bring people from different walks of life within a community together. You might think that it’s weird to invest in a table tennis robot but it can actually be a tool to make people in a community become active and happy.

– Ideal for rehearsing, adjusting and accelerating your strokes
Expecting you have taken in the essential strokes, you have to hone them to show signs of improvement.
A genuine practice accomplice will in all likelihood not give you a similar ball persistently, so in the event that you begin missing, you won’t know whether the ball came somewhat unique, or if you made a mistake in your stroke or footwork. Playing table tennis using a robot can make every people in the community move more often and it can make them become healthier individuals and healthy individuals make a healthy community. You can check out so many well researched articles that can prove this.

– Makes table tennis fun and useful for your wellbeing, particularly for children
On the off chance that you are quick to get your very own or different children inspired by table tennis, at that point a robot is a genuine treat. Children love this kind of thing. You can utilize it as a treat after some genuine preparing, or as a demo to get new children intrigued, or simply have it around as a touch of fun. At beginning costs like recreations supports, definitely, the utilization of a robot is significantly more beneficial for children, rather than sitting before a screen for quite a long time!

– An awesome guide for Group Coaching
Subsequent to addressing a mentor who completes a ton of gathering instructing, it is clear how profitable robots can be To minimize expenses, just extremely straightforward robots can make aggregate training so substantially less demanding, and require significantly fewer partners or different mentors. You can essentially set the robots up for a specific stroke that the children need to learn and enable them to hone it again and again, while you stroll around the gathering and offer guidance where required. For this situation, a couple of little robots, costing just a couple of hundred dollars each, can be significantly more important than a solitary more unpredictable unit.

– Improve footwork and coordination
Aside from enabling you to rehearse your individual strokes, most robots can be set to waver or even modified to shoot out balls to particular areas. This can be profoundly significant to rehearse your footwork and speed it up once you have aced the fundamentals. This again is particularly helpful for children, and their coordination is as yet created, and footwork can be shown appropriate from the begin.

– To play when no accomplice is accessible
Despite the fact that a robot is not a viable alternative for an accomplice to play with, it beyond any doubt is much superior to not hard to practice alone!

– Practice to deal with a shortcoming or an inconvenience shot from a rival
For those that play rivalry, you will know everybody has a shortcoming. When a rival discovers this and can utilize it against you, it can mean the finish of the diversion. A robot can be set up to play the balls you experience difficulty with, so you can hone it on and on until the point that you transform it into a quality.

Correspondingly, different players will experience difficulty with a specific shot and will attempt and to prevent you from playing this shot. A robot can be set up to play any shot with the goal that you hone how to produce a specific stroke regardless of what stroke your adversary gives you.

– Clubs office
A club that has a robot accessible is an imaginable fascination for new players. It tends to be a vital office that you can offer to your individuals and can offer awesome advantages as illustrated previously.

These are the things that table tennis robots can do for the people in a community. One great thing about it is people of all ages and whether alone or not can use it. It is very important that every people in the community have an active lifestyle because it can also affect their spiritual, emotional and mental health.


In the Absence of Tragedy

While I lived in Oregon, I had a blind date with a Jewish historian. A mutual friend of ours thought we should meet. It was at about this time of year, right before Passover and Easter. I have to say there was no romantic chemistry between us but I am indebted to him for our conversation over dinner which has helped me to make some sense of our faith. I had said to him that I envied the Jewish ritual celebrations of Shabbat and Passover as I also did the ritual remembrance of the Passion of Jesus in Christian churches. 

The idea of participating every year in a lifelong, centuries-old repetition of events like the tasting of bitter herbs at the seder or walking the stations of the cross, or breaking bread and sipping wine in remembrance of the Last Supper of Jesus, events that changed religious history and united a people, is very moving to me. I said that while we have many stories including those of Judaism and Christianity, and while our denominational history is Judeo-Christian, and while we are an activist faith proudly in the tradition of Hebrew and Christian prophets and reformers, we did not have any such centering story and spiritually deepening ritual in contemporary Unitarian Universalism. In fact, some observances like serving communion became deeply controversial.

Ralph Waldo Emerson left the ministry of the Unitarian Church he was serving in Massachusetts in the early nineteenth century because he could no longer, in good conscience, serve communion. Modern, predominantly Christian, Unitarian and Universalist churches serve communion at some time other than the regular worship service so that everyone has a choice whether to participate. West Coast and Floridian UU churches tend to avoid the whole business altogether as not worth the controversy. Personally, having grown up Presbyterian with fond memories of the passing through the congregation of trays of tiny tinkling glasses of grape juice and perfect squares of white bread to the tune of stories of the Last Supper, I feel regret that my skepticism and critique of portions of both religions has made my occasional recent participation in these rituals feel insincere. The word “sincere,” from Latin derivation, means without wax. My practice of the Passover seder and of communion is “with wax.” It feels patched together, piecework, taking this and not that, keeping intellectual distance as I watch hands, tongue and voice perform the rituals I still wish would hold their power for me.

My date, who was an admirer of our UU public activism and an observer of our history, replied that Unitarian Universalism seemed to him to be a religion characterized by “an absence of tragedy.” I’ve been turning this idea over ever since, because his description immediately rang true to me. I wonder if our avoidance of Christianity, even open rebellion against it, is an avoidance of the hard demands of the life of the cross. I wonder if the reminder of the liberation of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt runs too close to home for Americans who wish to forget our history of enslaving and persecuting people of color: blacks, Native Americans, Japanese and Mexican farm workers to be specific.

Moving this week into the both tragic and liberating events celebrated by Palm Sunday, Passover and Easter seems a good time to reflect on the importance of tragedy and suffering in the formation and practice of religion. Listening to NPR yesterday with three speakers on the life of faith in a time of war makes it all very real. I am led to question whether, in not claiming the centrality of a crucifix, for example, we have found any compelling alternative.

What is tragedy anyway? And, how could I possibly agree that we are a religion without tragedy? While I was serving our congregation in Hillsboro, Oregon, one man in his thirties became sick with meningitis and died within four days of becoming ill. He was divorced, his two small children lived with his former wife. He had struggled to find steady and meaningful employment. He was not an easy man for folks to befriend so was often isolated. I had just had lunch with him the week before this happened. He had a new job. He was beginning to find friends. His visits with his daughters were good. I left feeling his life had just turned in a positive direction for him. And then, out of nowhere, he got sick and died.

A couple in their forties in the congregation with two teenage sons, went out in their car for a rare dinner out without the kids. A car, driven by a young woman jokingly passing some friends in another car on Cornelius Pass Road hit their car head on. Chris was killed instantly and Bryan was in a coma for weeks. His body recovered over years. Their congregation and I are still trying to make sense of it all.

These were tragedies, senseless tragedies, tragedies that could befall any of us, any day. But, tragedy is not only an unfortunate or calamitous event like illness or accident. The tragedies of the Greeks or of Shakespeare are dramas in which the actor faces conflict with the forces of destiny or circumstance or character or society by which he or she is inevitably overcome. These dramas represent a whole worldview, an approach to life, the polar opposite from a Shakespearean “As You Like It” or “Midsummer Night’s Dream” which depict a comedic world view where everything always works out for the best in the end. In the tragic worldview, there are forces like those of the Fates or of God which are beyond our control.

Judaism and Christianity contain tragic events, a culture of suffering or sacrifice to Higher Powers and a strong message of explaining human life with a tragic worldview. Judaism is marked by a history of hardship in a society is characterized by racial prejudice against those of Jewish heritage. The central ritual of Judaism recounts the tragedy of exile and slavery in Egypt. The recitation of tragic events in the Passover Haggadah has been compounded in modern history by the Holocaust in Germany and Europe and the protection of an embattled Jewish state in Israel. As we have been urged recently by the production of films such as “Schindler’s List,” “Sophie’s Choice,” and most recently “The Piano,” the Holocaust is a tragedy of such dimensions and of such risk of repetition, as we know from hate groups in the United States and even Germany, that we must repeatedly be reminded of it so as not to repeat it, human nature being what it is.

The central event in the midst of much of Christianity is the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross following betrayal by fellow Jews, even his own disciples. Peter, who denied he knew Jesus three times from the time of the Passover meal until the cock crowed the next morning, is the rock upon which the Christian church is built. St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is his extraordinary monument. In much of Catholic and Protestant Christianity human beings are born sinners and can only be saved by accepting Christ as their personal Savior. Furthermore, the world as we know it will come to a tragic end, an apocalypse. For some the wars in the Middle East are the fulfillment of that inexorable destiny.

Even Buddhism, a non-theist religion, arose in response to the awareness of tragedy by Gautama. Gautama’s wealthy father endeavored to keep his son from experiencing suffering or the awareness of poverty, aging and death. It was only when he escaped his father’s enclosure of denial of anything but plenty and happiness that Gautama sought to wander the earth in pursuit of a way of in which he could stay present to the whole of life experience. Buddhist meditation encourages a full awareness of all the positive and frightening feelings to which we are prey, but then teaches the practice of non-attachment. Non-attachment is a way to remain present in the midst of suffering with loving kindness and compassion.

There are modern cultural examples of a tragic worldview too. The conflicts in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan are centuries old. The people of Kosovo and Kabul are caught up in a history they were born into and events egged on by a dictator or a Taliban they did not elect, living in a world where bombs are the Clinton and two Bush administrations’ treatment of choice for aggression. It is as if fate dictates their destiny. Our only option, in a tragic worldview, is to submit to forces beyond our ken and beyond our control. Fighting divine authority is hopeless. We must put ourselves in their care, as in the will of God, the dictates of the Bible or practicing traditional rituals, faithfully, and hope that “God will provide” or that “Father knows best.” When you hear the phrase, “God willing,” or “Inch/Allah” listen for an underlying tragic worldview.

I believe, the tragic worldview underlies the continuing resistance to legislating compassionate dying. Jack Kevorkian was convicted of second degree murder for giving a lethal injection to a man dying of the devastating Lou Gehrig’s disease. In fact, if he is guilty of murder, it should have been a first degree conviction for his act was clearly premeditated. ALS is a disease in which the mind remains absolutely clear and unaffected but you watch while your nerves fail to send signals to more and more parts of the body until you cannot walk, you cannot eat or talk, you, finally, cannot breathe. Opponents to medical euthanasia may offer legitimate drug-induced relief of suffering, but the underlying justification is that our life is God given and it is not right to take it away by human hands even our own hands. Calling upon the Hippocratic oath as if nothing has been learned in medicine about the quality of life since Hippocrates, is a call to an authoritarian religion, an enforcer of fate, a fate worse than death, that of unbearable suffering. UU work in support of compassionate dying says we can take our life and death into our own hands.

While one of us may wish to experience all of life even our particular natural death, another may, with a terminal disease, wish to end their life while they are still aware and comfortable and before their body wastes away or pain can only be relieved by the dulling of the senses through increasing doses of drugs. For all we might wish that Kevorkian’s persistent media-enticing tactics would just go away, his intent is to change our laws toward compassion

Persistent peacework in the times of détente often becomes annoying. Many of us, myself included, would like not to look at the presence of violence all the time. I’m busy. I would prefer just to deal with it when it comes towards me, not when it is affecting someone else or some other nation. And if I can duck when it does come, I’ll duck, even after 9-11

I am often in good company. In America, Unitarian Universalism and most of American Civil Religion as well as secular culture has lost its willingness to confront suffering and thus has ironically succumbed to a tragic world view. Accepting the affluent life as normative, many UU’s have unwittingly bought into the predeterminism of Calvin. We are preordained to be among the elect for whom tragedy is mostly absent or hidden, or merely personal. Social tragedy has been ghettoized on streets other than suburban streets where most of our congregations reside. On television, violence has been dissociated from suffering. It has become more stimulant than pain. Personal illness and death are often relegated to specialists: doctors, retirement homes, hospitals and sanitized funeral homes. We are often stunned by death in a way an Emily Dickinson or a Ralph Waldo Emerson of yesteryear, or an urban poor black family or an Iraqi of today are not. Ironically, President Bush believes he can overcome Fate and change the tragic shape of the Middle East. But his method of violence against violence is anything but a transformation. It is more of the same.

When I am honest, my avoidance of peace work in times of détente is also an avoidance of suffering and the hard work of creating non-violent alternatives to aggression for managing conflicts. Rather than say, I am helpless in the face of a world which only understands military might, we can do better. We can, if we have courage and passion for the task, overcome the will of a God, shaped on the metaphor of all-powerful kingship, and the history of nations whose boundaries were decided by warfare. Gandhi had that kind of courage and passion. Martin Luther King did too. Both men came, it is true, to tragic personal ends, but neither man had a tragic world view. Gandhi denied that the culture of caste and the culture of colonialism would define the way he would lead his life. He drew from a religion and a Conviction, capital C, centered in compassion, not Fate, the wherewithal to overturn oppression.

Rosa Parks refused to accept segregation as ordained by fate, bible and history. Martin King supported her defining action with a movement for civil rights and economic justice.

Gandhi, a Hindu, which, in many ways, is a religion close to modern Unitarian Universalism, wrote, “If you want something really important to be done, you must not merely satisfy the reason. You must move the heart also. The appeal to reason is more to the head, but the penetration of the heart comes from suffering. It opens the inner understanding.”

If there is to be an alternative to future wars, such as that in Yugoslavia and in Israel, there will have to be an international peace movement that begins with the children and thus with the families of people the world around. Only when we have a worldwide mission of peace and armies of non-violent activists instead of bombers, will peace have a chancePlease don’t misunderstand me. I am not arguing for a pursuit of suffering or masochism, but I want to observe aloud, in this passion week, that a religion based on the avoidance of the symbols and martyrs of suffering and humility runs the risk of losing the emotional power to act.

What then can I offer?

Both Moses in Exodus and Jesus in the Gospel accounts argued against fate, which in their worlds was the will of God. God told Moses to save his people from the Egyptians. He told Moses to say God said so. Moses demanded to know God’s name if he was to take on such Godly power as to save his people. God said, “Tell them ‘I am who I am’ sent me. But Moses said “they’ll never believe me.” So God promised him three signs: a staff turned to a snake, a hand turned leprous, and if all that failed, water turned to blood before their eyes.

Then Moses said, God, you know I have a speech impediment. They’ll never understand me. And God jumped back with the suggestion that Moses tell his brother Aaron of God’s message and then Aaron who is a good speaker could repeat the message to the people. Moses’ resistance was real and human. But an ironic, as opposed to a tragic, God wouldn’t let him get away with it.

Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane. He spoke to God in prayer. He wanted to be sure he had heard God correctly. It took three times hearing the message in his head before he accepted that this was the right path, this path to the cross. I see these stories as building a partnership with God, as the route toward liberation and justice, not of obedience to a dictator God or Fate.

When we choose stories of partnership in the work for justice, like the story of Moses in argument with God, we are left more with a feeling of joy and determination than of sorrow even in the midst of inevitable suffering. When we gain inspiration from a tale of Jesus riding a mere donkey before crowds strewing his path with palms in Jerusalem, we may become willing to acknowledge our own privilege and learn we too can humble ourselves enough to make a difference in this world. We can base our religion not on the joy of consumption but the joy of relinquishment; not on the primacy of suffering but the goal of reducing the suffering of others; not on a solitary hero, but on a human community of faith with a mission.

Our challenge is to fashion a covenanting community where there is love so great that we can admit the presence of tragedy and survive; where as, in Marvin Baumel’s last night recounting of past good deeds and misdeeds, we can laugh at ourselves and determine to do better. It is through remembering exile and slavery that the people can come to freedom; it is through the desolation of Good Friday that the people can come to Easter; it is through the experience of suffering that people can come to Understanding. It is in the arms of a communal love greater than any of which we are individually capable that we can be comforted, strengthened and go on.

Benediction for Palm Sunday
God calls out of the burning bush,
scarlet with camellias, golden embers at their centers.
“Moses, Moses,” God says;
“Rachel, Rachel,” God says,

“Jesu, Jesu,” God says.
And, when God sees that we have stopped to notice,
God calls our names also.
And, when our fear has subsided,
when the clouds of confusion have cleared,
when we are moved to speak, we say,
“Here I am!”

Then God says, “Remove the sandals from your feet
for the place on which you stand is holy ground.”
Barefooted, we stand stark still, listening, listening.
Then, when we are moved,
Then, when we are moved to speak, we say,
deliberately, we say,
“Here I am. Send me.”