Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills

Open minds, loving hearts, helping hands


Got UU “flair”? Practice wearing it…

Author Sarah Ahrens, Written Oct 21, 2015

Those of a certain age will probably remember with fondness watching the movie, Office Space- I know when flipping channels I will inevitably stop on a channel that is playing it to see where in the movie it is at.
Among the more memorable quotes and scenes is one that unfolds between Jennifer Aniston’s character, a restaurant server, and her manager.  The manager pulls her aside to discuss her “flair”- or lack thereof.  Pieces of “flair” being assorted buttons with nauseating slogans, images, etc. that add to the “fun times” ambiance the restaurant aspires to.  Watch it here.

Unitarian Universalists are wont to be proud displayers of UU flair- buttons, bumper stickers, banners, apparel, jewelry- that express various sentiments of Unitarian Universalism- most notably related to social justice initiatives.
I will confess that while I literally have a large plastic bag of collected buttons and lanyards and badges- I don’t often sport them as much as I would like.  I simply don’t always think to put them on and often when I do think to apply them, it is within a “safe” environment.

By “safe” I mean I am prone to wear them when it is obvious to wear them- while at a UU gathering, at Sunday service, at a justice event.  Yet I am less inclined to don them while doing the rest of life outside of UU-specific contexts.  For example, when New Jersey and all of the U.S. was still working for marriage equality, I would wear the LGBT affirming rainbow triangle button during worship services specific to the cause, or to some of the Trenton rallies that Garden State Equality organized- but not during “everyday” activities.

I am working to change my habits around that and will be starting with the small step of wearing on a more regular basis a “Black Lives Matter” wristband.  I’ve ordered a bunch and all are welcome to take one.  Please donate $6 if you can as that is their approximate cost, with proceeds being used as follows.

I also know wearing a wrist band isn’t enough, that more action needs to follow, and a wrist band can be much more easily taken off than one can “take off” the identities by which others justify oppressing them.  But it’s a start to speaking and showing my UU values more regularly.  I’ll let you know when the wrist bands arrive.  I invite you to join me in the learning and growing beyond our comfort zones.