Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse

Springfield, Vermont


Dear Friends,  This is a pledge I wrote for myself a couple of years ago.  It takes on new meaning now in the time of the pandemic when our devices are a crucial link for us to the world outside our homes.  How can we use our devices wisely in these times?  You are welcome to read through it, personalize it, cross out what doesn’t apply, add anything that’s missing.  Then if You want, do a ceremony placing something on your device as a symbol and reminder of this pledge (like a heart sticker); sign this pledge at the bottom; place this pledge where You will see it -- on your fridge, over your desk, on the wall or on you altar; revisit it periodically to renew your commitment.  Hope it’s helpful. 

With Love,


July 5, 2020       

Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy, Lincoln, Vermont  


The focus of my life is Love. I choose the path of love and spirituality.My life has a greater purpose.Any device(s) I use, I intend to engage as a tool(s) in the service of love and spirituality. I remember life before all this technology and it was good!”  (from a 30 year-old friend).
I’m grateful for the device(s) I have and for the ease, utility, fun, convenience and power the device(s) provides.   
I recognize that I can use the device(s) for good or bad.  I pledge to use the device(s) for good, love, kindness, health, harmony and balance; and not for bad, hate, meanness, illness, disharmony or imbalance. 
When I awake in the morning, I will engage in a spiritual practice(s), a calm, centering activity such as looking at or being in nature, praying, breathing, doing yoga, sitting quietly, doing Tai Chi, chanting, singing, writing, meditating or reading poetry, sacred or inspired texts.  I will turn on the device(s) only AFTER I’ve centered myself.  If I don’t have a spiritual practice yet, I’ll explore what spiritual practice(s) might be right for me.
I will turn off all devices regularly & for periods each day & week.  I’ll consider doing an extended device fast.
I will spend time in Nature regularly.  To be healthy and spiritually grounded, I know I need this.
I will not use the device while driving or in other dangerous conditions. 
I will make time to connect in person with family and friends, and I will turn off the device when socializing.  Given that use of social media is connected with decreased emotional health, I’ll use it carefully & sparingly.
When in public, I will act courteously to others and not let my use of a device be an excuse for acting otherwise.
I recognize that when I use the device, I am acting on the World Wide Stage. NOTHING is private.  Everything I type and search is being monitored and recorded, and scanned if not read by others.  I will only search sites and post messages that I would feel comfortable reading about on the front page of the Washington Post.
I recognize that the speed of these devices is a blessing and a curse.  Because I can’t take back or undo something, I will refrain from sending messages when I am upset or imbalanced.  I will hold as a draft anything I write which is emotionally charged, review it later when I’m calmer before I send it. 
I’ll make a list of enjoyable activities that restore me and build my sense of well-being and connectedness such as doing arts and crafts, singing, making music, socializing, reading, cooking, tinkering, hiking, playing games, gardening, etc.… Since spending time on device(s) can eclipse time with these fun activities.  I commit myself to designating blocks of time free of devices for these restoring, healthy, enjoyable, creative activities. 
To strengthen my attention and productivity, I will turn off messages/alerts for certain periods. I will set aside uninterrupted time to focus on my work, to get into and enjoy the flow and creativity. I will read emails, texts, etc... only at certain times in the day and not let myself be drawn away constantly by the ping of messages.
I recognize that children are particularly susceptible to the impact of these devices.  I will model healthy, balanced device use because this is what kids needs most.  And I will be a loving, kind encourager of healthy device use for the kids in my sphere. I will learn about and spread wise ideas like “Tech Credits”.
If someone close to me indicates that my use of the device(s) seems imbalanced or problematic, I will listen to what s/he is trying to tell me. If I suspect I’m addicted to the device, or am using the web to access web sites I’m not proud of, I’ll talk with someone I trust and get help.
(Add your own items here or use the other side.)
The focus on my life is Love.  I am choosing the path of Love and Spirituality and am grateful for the device(s)  that I am using wisely as tools on this path.  May it be so. 
Signed __________________________________________       
Date ____________________