On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s road; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth.
— Martin Luther King Jr. from A Time to Break Silence
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
— Martin Luther King Jr. from I Have a Dream
There is great diversity among human beings. Physically we differ from each other in things such as size, body structure, skin color, and facial features. We also differ from one another mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. One of the greatest challenges of a healthy spirituality is learning to tolerate the differences we find in one another and not to view these differences as threats to ourselves. Moreover, a healthy spirituality should lead us to celebrate our differences and to see them as a reflection of God’s beneficence and creativity.
— Melannie Svoboda from Traits of a Healthy Spirituality
‘Differentiation’ honors the fact that every person, stone, tree, and animal is a unique creation. Indeed, the universe thrives on diversity. Learning not only to tolerate but to respect our differences, both individual and cultural, is crucial to the work of liberation. Differentiation provides multiple sources from which solutions to our problems are found.
— James Conlon from Lyrics for Re-Creation
You, the one
From whom on different paths
All of us have come.
To whom on different paths
All of us are going.
Make strong in our hearts what unites us;
Build bridges across all that divides us;
United make us rejoice in our diversity.
And at one in our witness to your peace,
A rainbow to your glory,
— Brother David Steindl-Rast from God Has No Religion
A Jewish Prayer
In that which we share,
let us see the common prayer of humanity.
In that which we differ,
let us wonder at the freedom of humankind.
— Jared Kieling from The Gift of Prayer
A Buddhist Practice
May I mindfully appreciate
of every being that I encounter,
who, like flowers,
bring beauty, variety,
and sustenance to our world.
— Jean Smith from NOW!: The Art of Being Truly Present
This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
— Dalai Lama from A Policy of Kindness