February 7

 

Reflection

 

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
Matthew 25:4

 

It is so easy to generalize and group people when you have never met them.  Stereotypes abound. Politicians and pundits of all kinds project blame to their own advantage. The acts of some are applied to the whole. It is easy to avoid seeing the human persons trapped in unjust systems, suffering without personal cause, and simply trying to survive. It is easy to adopt the common refrain and begrudge them their human needs. It is easy to accept scapegoats over reality. It is easy to distrust others because are different from ourselves. It is often only a personal contact, a common experience of injustice, a loved one caught in a similar situation that will break through and rouse our active compassion. It is allowing our common humanity to meet that can build understanding. No one ever said living the gospel was meant to be easy.

Prayer

May I grow in understanding and have a compassionate heart.

Action

Examine your own attitudes toward some of the stereotypes and demonization of groups of people because of their religion, race, gender choices, immigrant status, economic need etc. Try to separate facts from prevailing generalizations and fictions. Be open to meeting people different from yourself.

Suggested Reading

If we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?
1 John 4:20

Therefore, having laid aside falsehood, each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.
Ephesians 4:25

We cannot remain spectators before the suffering of so many people who are worn out by hunger, violence, and injustice. What does ignoring the suffering of others mean? It means ignoring God!
Pope Francis

Let’s practice motivation and love, not discrimination and hate.
Zendaya

All I can say is I am sensitive to discrimination on any basis because I have experienced that upset.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

It is often easier to become outraged by injustice half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home.
Carl T. Rowan

A stereotype may be negative or positive, but even positive stereotypes present two problems: They are cliches, and they present a human being as far more simple and uniform than any human being actually is.
Nancy Kress 

Once you label me you negate me.
Søren Kierkegaard

People are too complicated to have simple labels.
Philip Pullman

It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and   celebrate those differences.
Audre Lorde

Tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where peoples are becoming more and more closely interconnected.
Kofi Annan

Our life changes the moment we choose love over hate.
 Avijeet Das

Every human being, of whatever origin, of whatever station, deserves respect. We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves.
U Thant

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