Examining Our Attitude Towards the “Other”

I gave a mid-day reflection for students at our law school this past Wednesday on the theme: Examining Our Attitude Toward the “Other.” The title refers to our tendancy to form judgments about other persons based on their gender, race, ethnicity, religion or sexually orientation, judgments that often involve a determination that one of a different race, religion, sexual orientation, etc., is, at some fundamental level, “not us” or “not me.” This “othering” is enormously destructive of community, because it allows us to decide that some people (and their needs) are less important than others. The reflection invited participants to consider ways in which we decide that certain people are “not us” and to start to think about how we might relinquish the attitudes that prevent our full loving encounter with Christ disguised as an “other.”

You can find a podcast of the talk I gave here . (The podcast runs for 19:55). The handout I gave for their prayerful reflection during the time we were together, which I reference toward the end of the talk (the podcast ends at the point in our session where the participants spent some time in quiet reflection), along with another handout I distributed for their own subsequent individual prayer, can be found here.