One of the hallmarks of the SKSM educational paradigm is its focus on countering oppression. Be it poverty, race, gender, sexual orientation, environmental change, oppression of workers, the third world, and tribal peoples or the intsectionality of several of these. SKSM is working to educate us about it, and empower us to understand and change it. Studying such a curricula is intense at any time, but to be there during 2014 and 2015 Black Lives Matter movement is particularly powerful. A seminarian friend from another seminary said that he spends a lot of time wondering “what am I going to figure out I’m wrong about today? It all boils down to developing my personal capacity for being uncomfortable.” Maybe the fact he is at another seminary and feels just like I do means that these feelings are just UU ministerial formation, not specifically an SKSM thing.
And at the same time, I deeply believe in ahimsa. That is Sanskrit for the principle of nonviolence toward all living things. Gandhi espoused this belief, and to me it includes non-violence even to me. Changing myself non-violently. Waking up, often feeling somewhere between wrong and wishing I’d done something different and yet treating myself (and others) non-violently. Yep, formation.