Can you imagine who might have said these nice words?
“The more integrity you have, the richer you are. But it’s better than money…If you’ve lived your life with integrity, that’s what people will remember about you. It becomes your legacy…”
“It’s amazing how money and the pursuit of money can rot us to the core…it can also cloud our thinking.”
“We’re all working on repairing our relationships and showing mercy.”
You might be surprised that these words come from Ohio Governor John Kasich’s book Every Other Monday where Kasich describes conclusions he’s reached through his private Bible study meetings with close friends.
The values celebrated in private are not the ones the public sees when Kasich spreads misinformation about sources of public employee retirement funding, takes a $400,000 bonus from Lehman Brothers, or calls a police officer an “idiot” for making a traffic stop involving the guilty Governor. It’s easy to see the contradictions in what others say and then fail to do, and unfortunately, the values that people claim to hold most dear are sometimes not easy to see in their lives.
Whenever we talk about our principles, we run the risk that others might ask how we put our principles into action. As Humanists, we have advocated many principles such as reason, compassion, environmental protection, being moral, doing good, questioning everything, solving problems, promoting democracy and civil rights, and celebrating our connections with others.
Fortunately, there are many answers to the question of how we can put our Humanist principles into action. There are ways to go from having reasonable conclusions on an issue in question to being a more reasonable person. There are ways to develop critical thinking skills. There are ways to build good character and have a meaningful life. There are ways to expand compassion and tolerance. There are ways to ensure that other people have a voice in decisions that affect them. There are ways to encourage civil rights and to protect the environment. There are ways to work toward solutions.
By meeting with others in Humanist Communities, we have the opportunities to share not only our thoughts on questions of life, but also the chance to share our experiences of living as Humanists and to discover ways to take action based on our principles. Working together we can find ways to live wisely.