By Paula Peace
At this Sunday’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service, the Reverend Andrea Abbott speaks on the relationship between inequality and the development of self.
“Anxiety and Equality”
By Rev. Andrea Abbott
Sun, Apr 2, 10:30am
Posada de la Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio 15
In light of current events, the distinction between healthy and harmful self-esteem is particularly interesting. Healthy self-esteem is a realistic acceptance of our strengths and weaknesses and the ability to enjoy what life has to offer in the light of our abilities and limitations. Those who achieve healthy self-esteem are able to engage in rewarding relationships with a wide variety of people. In contrast, self-esteem that is unrealistic is brittle and defensive. It is often characterized by denigration of people and groups characterized as ‘the other.’
In our current society, the latter type can be far more common. As opportunity in the US becomes increasingly narrow, many feel left behind. For those many, harmful self-esteem becomes a way to cope with change. An understanding of the effects of these two types of self-esteem explains much about the current US political landscape and the reasons behind what may seem like irrational decision-making. Two books are particularly good maps to this new world: The Spirit Level by Wilkinson and Pickett, and Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Hochschild.
This is the Reverend Andrea Abbott’s third year speaking in San Miguel de Allende. She is the minister of The First Universalist Society of Central Square, a congregation located in a rural area of upstate New York north of Syracuse. She has served this congregation for more than ten years, as student minister and then minister. She is a graduate of Colgate Rochester Crozer Seminary. Andrea came to the ministry late in life, with previous careers in human services, teaching and librarianship. Prior to becoming a minister, she served for twenty years as librarian at Auburn Correctional Facility, a men’s maximum-security prison in Central New York. Service pianist is Paula Peace with Special Music by gypsy flamenco guitarist Javier Estrada.
The UU Fellowship meets every Sunday at 10:30am at Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15, and welcomes people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The room is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit our website at uufsma.org.