Friday, March 19, 2021

March 19--Alternative Beauty

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. --Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

I offer these words about loving from Richard Rohr of the Center for Action and Contemplation:
    We’re told by developmental psychologists that there’s a staging in our growth in love. We have to start with self-love and respecting the self. If we don’t respect ourselves, we won’t know how to respect anybody else.
    Then God moves us to group love, family love, which is basically the love of people who are connected to us or who are like us. A lot of people don’t even get there. They don’t know how to love their family or those close to them or those in their group.
    From there, God moves us to the third level, which is universal love; I’m afraid a much smaller number of people get to this place. As we see in politics, in our country, and throughout the world, at best most people just get to the second stage of knowing how to love people who are like them: their race, their nationality, their religion, their political party. When we stay at this second stage of group love, we clearly don’t create a healthy society. We see this in the rise of white nationalism and the violence at the U.S. Capitol that took place earlier this year. Many of us who identify as white in the United States are just coming to understand that it was this second level of exclusive love for our own group that was the foundation for most of the oppressive systems of our nation.
Beautiful people do not just happen. 

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