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Out and About with Word and Image of Vermont
The practice of displaying wise sayings in public places bespeaks a touching faith in the power of words and a confidence that enough people will pay attention to them to make a difference. You can usually find examples of them at Unitarian Churches where glassed cases offer sentiments that somebody decided would be socially and spiritually beneficent. The church in Burlington, Vermont is no exception and the display there is probably more prominent than is usually the case. The one I saw last week, highlighting the Spanish poet Juan Ramon Jimenez, seemed typical of Unitarian thought. It's suffused with a warm feeling towards humanity, but exactly what it means is difficult to say. We find the differences between religious communities in curious spots, and they often have to do with degrees of hardness. Mr. Jimenez's thought would not have been considered adamantine enough for the Protestantism that took me in hand when I was a boy.