Opening Words from Sun. August 27 by Matthew Brown

I started visiting here eleven years ago. I started coming to the Good Eat’n Vegetarian Potlucks, became a member, and became active with the Young-Ethicals group.

When my son Gabriel was born, life was busy, and my platform attendance waned, but the social groups helped keep me connected to the society. When Gabriel was old enough for Sunday Ethical Education for Kids last year, my wife Melissa and I found the core values really speak to us.

Particularly poignant for me is “I strive to live my values.” Depending on how well you know me, you know how deeply that phrase resonates within me and some of my activities that are in line with my values. For now, suffice it to say that integrity, balance, joy, and love are central to my philosophy. I believe in stewarding the planet for future generations and life in general, experiences over things, and community.

My philosophy and that phrase “I strive to live my values” ties back to the groups I’ve joined. Not all participants of the Good Eat’n Potluck are vegetarian, but many enjoy lightening their footprint by eating less meat.

Melissa and I recently started the “Second Sunday Slow Roll” bike rides to help people get more comfortable using their bikes to go places.

I take much joy and comfort in the friends I’ve made here, in this community, in the company of like-minded individuals. I’d like to share this song with you.

“Happiness” with modified lyrics, sung a cappella, from You’re a good man Charlie Brown

Happiness is two kinds of ice cream, finding your bike key, making new friends,
Happiness is learning to garden, eating food you’ve grown for the very first time
Happiness is doing acro with your own good friends
And happiness is walking hand in hand

Happiness is, five different silks tricks, having a secret, climbing a tree
Happiness is having a so-n, sharing a potluck, getting a-long
Happiness is signing this song when opening words are through
And happiness is those who play with you

NOTE: The ideas and opinions in this post do not necessarily express the thoughts or opinions of the Ethical Society of St. Louis or its leadership.