Let Us Reconsider

by Meredith Angeline Hinton

“Compassion grows with the inner recognition that your neighbor shares your humanity with you. This partnership cuts through walls which might have kept you seperate. Across all barriers of land and language, wealth and poverty, knowledge and ignorance, we are one, created from the same dust, subject to the same laws, and destined for the same end. With this compassion you can say, “In the face of the oppressed I recognize my own face and in the hands of the oppressor I recognize my own hand. Their flesh is my flesh, their blood is my blood, their pain is my pain, their smile is my smile. Their ability to torture is in me too; their capacity to forgive I find also in myself. Their is nothing in me that does not belong to them too; nothing in them that does not belong to me. In my heart, I know their yearning for love, and down to my entrails I can feel their cruelty. In another’s eyes I see my plea for forgiveness, and in a hardened frown I see my refusal. When someone murders, I know that I too could have done that, and when someone gives birth, I know I am capable as well. In the depths of my being, I meet my fellow humans with whom I share love and have life and death.” -Henri Nouwen

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