Choosing Respect, Love And Compassion

By James Neal
Enid News & Eagle, Okla.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Columnist James Neal does a beautiful job of sharing a few stories that show how we all have opportunities each day to improve this world. By simply choosing to respect the inherent worth and dignity of the people around us, we could even change the course of history.

Enid News & Eagle, Okla.

I normally wouldn’t advise seeking wisdom on Facebook.

It’s become a trash soup of hate mongering, clickbait and fake news trolls — all mixed in with the cat videos and actual news we all want to see.

But, if you use a fine enough sieve, you can still find some gems of wisdom in the pig trough.

Such was the case this week when I came across two stories that underline both the fractured state of our society, and our hope for reconciliation.

The first is a story Desmond Tutu told BBC News in 2003 about one of the defining moments of his life.

Tutu, who grew up during apartheid in South Africa, recalled an incident when he was about 9, walking home with his mother.

The two met a white man, walking in the opposite direction. As blacks, they were expected to step into the gutter until he passed.

Instead, the white man stepped into the gutter.

“I saw this tall, white priest in a black cassock doff his hat to my mother who was a domestic worker,” Tutu told the BBC. “I didn’t know then that it would have affected me so much, but it was something that was really — it blew your mind that a white man would doff his hat.”

The cleric was Trevor Huddleston, an Anglican priest who preached a “theology that every person is of significance, of infinite value, because they are created in the image of God,” Tutu recalled.

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