Mistakes: Why We Need a Covenant of Right Relations

Mistakes: Why We Need a Covenant of Right Relations

We humans make mistakes.

If we agree on the, WHY we are in community, we will likely be willing to take the effort to resolve our disagreements about the, WHAT we do.

With mutually agreed upon rules of (open) communication—as recommended in our (draft) Covenant of Right Relations (CRR)—community can be maintained by addressing the impacts of our mistakes in a timely fashion. Faithful use of an agreed upon CRR may also be able to limit the number of these mistakes, and the intensity of the impact, when they occur.

An example of the use and value of UUCC’s CRR is a time when the members of the CRR Committee found that they were concerned about the meaning and impact of a media post at UUCC. After discussing it, we decided to communicate with the sender, directly, how the post impacted us. We crafted a respectful email expressing the impact without blaming the sender, or impugning motives. The response was a cordial email thanking us for the information. With respect to our feelings, the immediate issue of our emotional reaction was tempered; the sender heard us. This respectful direct communication left us all calmer to discuss the issue at hand rather than letting it fester. It also highlighted the difference between the poster’s intent and the impact on the readers, allowing future (bi-lateral) adjustments in communication.

One of the benefits of our community at UUCC is that it empowers our members to be their authentic selves. With care and attention, and a CRR to facilitate loving communication we each can include and enable others to do the same, learning as we go.

Charles (Scotty) Scott for the
The Covenant of Right Relations Committee
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