Daily Reflection

Daily Reflection Archives

February 7

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We have become skilled at avoiding practically all interaction with those with whom we disagree…we have the ingredients for a culture polarized by the perception that we are good and virtuous, while they are inhuman and evil. John A. Powell calls this “othering” and has shown that it leads to hatred and discrimination. But on the odd occasion that people are exposed to each other as people…othering is hard to maintain. And that is the rare moment when human compassion and empathy can break out. Did the two sides reach agreement… Doubtlessly not. Yet something more profound happened: They saw each other as people.
from “Empathize With Your Political Foe” by Arthur C. Brooks


Teach me wisdom and knowledge because I trust your commands.
Psalm 119:66


Do you see yourself practicing “othering”? How can you begin to see others as people? Can you try to be understanding and compassionate in spite of strong differences? How?

Suggested Reading

A person may think their own ways are right,
but the Lord weighs the heart.
Proverbs 21:2

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Colossians’ 3:14

In the shoes of the other, we learn to have a great capacity for understanding, for getting to know difficult situations.
Pope Francis

Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.
Dalai Lama

I have an easier time loving humankind than I do loving particular human beings.
Barbara Brown Taylor

True communication is communion —the realization of oneness, which is love.
Eckhart Tolle

When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.
Ernest Hemingway

I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.
Abraham Lincoln

When you really know somebody, you can’t hate them. Or maybe it’s just that you can’t really know them until you stop hating them.
Orson Scott Card

Before we can forgive one another, we have to understand one another.
Emma Goldman

Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.
Rollo May

If men could only know each other, they would neither idolize nor hate.
Elbert Hubbard