Whenever the political climate becomes racist, totalitarian or based on the notion of unity through community, the role of democrats everywhere is no longer to support the preferences of the majority but to see that the rights of the oppressed are respected, if necessary in the face of numerical superiority.
What is sacred in democracy is not mechanisms but values. What must be respected, absolutely and without concession, is the dignity of human beings – all human beings, men, women and children, whatever their beliefs or their colour, and whether they are many or few.
Amin Maalouf, On Identity
Here are a couple of quotes from Luce Irigaray’s brilliant book Sharing the World.
The first one is a beautiful reminder of the gratuity of nature:
The light of the stars, the music of the winds, the song of the birds … do not force us to do anything; rather they give assistance to our existence, put a surplus of life at our disposal, remind us of what or who we are.
I was also struck by her thoughts on the emptiness that clutters our place:
The place in which we live … is cluttered with our objects, our projections, our repetitions, our habits and tautologies. It is both enclosed and partly cluttered with our own emptiness.
The whole book is a gem, full of wisdom and insights, not least concerning how we (ought to) engage with the Other, wisdom and insights our contemporary Western world would do well to heed.
Maybe our world will grow kinder eventually.
Maybe the desire to make something beautiful
is the piece of God that is inside each of us.
From Mary Oliver’s poem ‘Franz Marc’s Blue Horses’
Commenting on Wisdom, which in Proverbs 8 is said to be playing in the world and before God at all times, Thomas Merton, in New Seeds of Contemplation, writes:
We do not have to go very far to catch echoes of that game, and of that dancing. When we are alone on a starlit night; when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children; when we know love in our own hearts.