“You were made from love, to be love, to spread love.” Every once in a while when I need a pick me up, I watch Kid President’s “Letter to a Person on their First Day Here.” It is filled with nuggets of wisdom that help to remind me that life is inherently beautiful, and that we all have worth simply because we exist. The line above is my favorite. It speaks of our origins, our essence, and our purpose, all of which he names as that infinite and ever-growing force that is Love. This unity of creation and purpose offers comfort and inspiration that we all possess tremendous power; for if Love created us, and we are Love, what then can we create?
In Islamic thought, there is the concept of fitra, which describes humanity’s natural state. Fitra suggests that we are all born in “perfect relationship with God,” knowing and fully grateful for the source of our creation. This place of perfection is what moves us to do good in the world, and live up to our potential as loving, creative, and rational beings. But things can, and do, distract us from thinking about our origin, essence, and purpose, and so we must work to remind ourselves and each other of the power that created us to take part in its work.
The concept of fitra has roots in Islam, but it echoes values found in Unitarian Universalism. Unitarian forefather William Ellery Channing spoke of “the principle of love implanted in the human breast,” and that humanity’s likeness to our infinitely wise and unutterably good Creator is what gives us our potential. Our natural state is what calls us to use “our highest powers, of understanding, conscience, love, and the moral will.” But Channing similarly names the reality that humans can, and do, forget their divine relationship and purpose, echoing the need for reminders, but never denying the inherent worth and potential of every person.
Kid President also knows that distractions exist, that lovingly isn’t always how we act, and that “being a person is hard sometimes.” He too offers a reminder to help us love up to our potential: “You’re awake, you’re awesome…live like it.”