July 15

Reflection

One of the reasons that America is so angry right now is that there is so much dehumanization…In this moment, some people seem eager even to dehumanize themselves by reducing themselves to a simple label and making politics their one identity.

Personalism is about constructing systems where the whole person is seen and cultivated — schools where a child is not just a brain on a stick, hospitals where patients are not just bodies in beds, cities where cops see people, not “perps,” communities in which each person is seen as a rich interplay of multiple identities, economic systems that allow people to realize their full dignity as makers and earners.

Personalism judges each social arrangement by how well it fosters the kind of relationships that enhance the full complexity and depth of each soul. This awful year will be somewhat redeemed if we can end it with a sense of this kind of common morality, and if we can begin the hard work of reforming our institutions to be in line with it.

Adapted from David Brooks

Prayer

May I value and respect each person each day.

Action

Do you find yourself seeing each individual as a whole person or as a category?  How can you avoid falling into labels and stereotypes about people? How can you respect yourself?

Suggested Reading

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10

What marvelous love God has extended to us! Just look at it — we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are.
1 John 3:1

God continues to love us all, even the worst of us.
Pope Francis

A person is an entity of a sort to which the only proper and adequate way to relate is love.
Pope John Paul II

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
Mother Teresa

I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.
Anne Frank

Be a good human being, a warm hearted, affectionate person. That is my fundamental belief.
Dalai Lama

Humanity should be our race. Love should be our religion.
Unknown

We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.
Martin Luther King Jr

It is much more valuable to look for the strength in others. You can gain nothing by criticizing their imperfections.
Daisaku Ikeda

We are all valuable. Humanity needs our individual services.
Lailah Gifty Akita

Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value.
Desmond Tutu

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