Transcript – Belonging: The Search for Acceptance Introduction: Jean Vanier and Belonging – Clip 1


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Transcript – Belonging: The Search for Acceptance
Introduction: Jean Vanier and Belonging – Clip 1

NARRATOR: Our world has changed. In our post-9/11 universe, our twin paradigms of stability and security crumbled. Shaken to the core, we long to feel connected to each other, and to find meaning.

JEAN VANIER: Belonging is the big question, and since the 11th of September, it is the big question.
NARRATOR: Jean Vanier is recognized as one of the great thinkers, and one of the true heroes of our time. A modern-day philosopher, he offers us a fresh vision for humanity in this chaotic and uncertain world.
VANIER: The world will never be the same…thank God. Thank God, it must never be the same. Let's rethink a new vision for our world which is based on every human person is important, and that means that we all have to change.
NARRATOR: We may think our deepest need is to be loved. Jean Vanier argues that even deeper and more universal is our desire to belong.
MAN #1: Belonging is something that people crave increasingly desperately the 21st century.
MAN #2: The idea of belonging is part of our need to love and be loved.
WOMAN #1: I think it's fundamental and foundational to the development of personhood.
MAN #3: Our hunger to belong lives before all those other drives that psychologists and philosophers have given us.
WOMAN #2: I value belonging because I've known so painfully what it's like not to belong.
WOMAN #3: The question is, who am I when my systems of meaning and belonging collapse?

MAN #4: The deepest longing isn't for other things, it's for other people. It's to belong in some kind of relationship.

VANIER: Suddenly, the world is being pushed into a consciousness of belonging, in its widths and in its littleness, I mean, and the whole of the world, and the history of the world is a history of belonging. The history of humanity is one group breaking off from another group, creating their rituals, creating their language, and so on, and then wars. Very quickly, "My culture's better than your culture."My religion's better than your religion. My way of doing things is better than your way to do things." Our problem is that we've been so caught up in prejudice.
JOHN DALLA COSTA: Human beings have always drawn lines. We've drawn lines around families, and said, "I belong to this family" or "I belong to this community," "I belong to this tribe," "I belong to this nation." That's part of how we create identity, and to a degree, that's necessary, we can't escape it, and at the same time, there's a paradox. The more definitive, the more exclusive we are in how we create those lines, the less we become as human beings.

VANIER: So the big question is, "Is culture the... the dangerous thing?" There's a whole global movement of destroying culture, because the big problem today for these people is Christianity and Islam, or it's Buddhism and something else. So we have to break down culture for a new humanity to rise up. So the theory sounds great, but it's not as easy as that, because individualism pushes people into insecurity. If I don't belong, well, who am I? And when I fall sick, who will look after me? Who really is committed to me? The danger that can rise up in this individualism, instead of this religion against this religion, or this country against another, it's me and you, and we're all fighting to get up the ladder to have more. So all the fragile, the old, the weak, they can't make it, and so they're entering into the bottom line. So there's something very profound about culture as a place of belonging, a place of security, a place of celebration, a place where we can be poor and weak and strong together, because the group protects the weaker ones, it protects the more fragile ones.

NARRATOR: Jean Vanier has authored numerous best-selling books, but he's better known as the founder of L'Arche, an international network of homes where people with developmental disabilities, and the friends who assist them, live together in community. Patrick is a member of one of the L'Arche communities in France. He was born in Paris in October of 1950. Diagnosed as autistic, he spent his teens a psychiatric hospital. Eventually, his parents found L’Arche. Patrick has lived here since 1969. This is a place he truly calls home.
VANIER: Patrick, well, he was 51 years old at his birthday. What is important any community is to celebrate people, to give them presence, to help them become conscious that they are important, that there is glory inside of them, that there is beauty inside of them.
CARIOSA KILCOMMONS: On va commencer en chantant.
GROUP: [cheering] [laughter and applause]
GROUP: [singing in French]

KILCOMMONS: When we come together, there's a real sense of celebrating life. It's not just coming together to say we're going to have a nice meal, we're going to put on a nice table, we're going to... All of that is very important, because that gives... that brings to the ambiance, but it's more than that. It's celebrating the life of each person. It's celebrating the fact that we're together, celebrating the fact that we're able to live together, and that we've chosen to stay together, and sometimes we just celebrate, very simply, our daily life. Sometimes we just open a bottle of wine…to say, "It's great we got all the housework done today. We never thought we'd get through it and everything. Why don't we drink a bottle of wine?" Things like that. It's very simple, but it's really important because it gives us the occasion to sort of put words on what we're living, and to find the sense in all of that, to find the reasons that we're together, and why we stay together. It's... we need to celebrate.

GROUP: [clapping and singing] Hallelujah, hallelujah. Hallelujah!
FRENCH WOMAN (O/S0: Bravo, Patrick!
VANIER: One day a week, one day a month, one day a year, they can be at the centre and know that they are, that they're special, that they receive gifts, so a celebration is so important. At a celebration you should eat well, you should put on good clothes, you should drink well, you should have flowers, you have music, you have fun, and of course, we're not a terribly intellectual group, so we do mimes, or we do stupid things, and we just have fun and laugh together, and it's true that when you have a group of people having belly laughs, you create community. The way you destroy community is everybody at their own little television sets unable to communicate together, so it's all part of communication and giving thanks. Like, sometimes, to be able to help people to remember that at one time they were in an asylum, and then now, that is finished, and it's the movement from loneliness and brokenness to togetherness. This, for some, is resurrection. It's complete change, the moving from being lonely to community.
GROUP: Happy birthday, dear Patrick, Happy birthday to you! [applause and cheering]
KILCOMMONS: Patrick is someone who is really in relationship with people, which is something you wouldn't have thought with him, because, I mean, when he was little, he was really labelled as someone more autistic and having a psychosis as he gets older. The different words you can put on about mental handicaps or illnesses, but Patrick is someone who's just very simple in his approach. He's someone who welcomes people.
GROUP: Un, deux, trois!
GROUP: [laughter]
KILCOMMONS: And so it's a real pleasure to welcome him and to celebrate him, because he's someone who just sort of inspires the celebration.

GROUP: [clapping and singing]

VANIER: There was the symbolism of the tree, which is a symbol of each one of us. We have to all become conscious that we are beings of growth. We can grow. We can change. We're not a static reality. The important thing is to keep the eyes on what we want to grow into. Do we want to grow with greater community, greater openness, greater compassion, greater listening, or do we want to just be a tree that's more powerful and shows that I am the biggest tree, and the best tree, and whatever it is, and all the other little trees are stupid? So it's all about this question of growth.

Belonging and Work: Am I What I Do? – Clip 2

VANIER: We human beings have a craving for the infinite. Infinite power, infinite pleasure. We are never, never satisfied with the finite.

ERIC BARTON: If you interview 10 men on Bay Street right now and say, "Do you really know where you're going with your life?" Eight out of 10 will say, "No." I can walk down Bay Street, and people would say, "Now there's a person that's really well put together. He's the chairman of a company," but underneath it is a deep insecurity, um, a frightful fear of rejection, and you know the psychology of, you know, being children of alcoholics? Well, I happen to be, and I'm a typical case. You can never do enough to accept who you are, so you're always searching for a new belonging. So I know what it's like to not belong.
DON CHAMPAGNE: I practiced law for 30 years on Bay Street and Wall Street, and at the end-- I left in 1996-- I really felt that I did not belong. I just was not a part of it anymore. That related both to my firm and to what I was doing, and to colleagues that I just had great difficulty relating to, and I lost that sense of belonging.

WENDY PEACOCK: I worked for a very reputable, well-known company, and, you know, any time I went anywhere, that was a focus of the conversation, to really say, "Wow, you work there," or, you know, "That's what you do? How glamorous," and yet I just felt really belittled in a lot of ways, because it didn't feel like it was me. It felt like I had become that position, that title, that, you know, part of that company more than I was really me.

VANIER: The core need is to listen to people. We cannot listen to the identity of another, unless we know what my identity is, who I am, and it's only when I know a bit who I am that I can discover who you are. Not only then can I give to you, but you can give to me, because there's this gradual vision of growth.
ANNOUNCER: Your attention, please. Passengers for Kuwait Airways...
DALLA COSTA: Well, we've made one of the perks of managerial reality the possibility of being promoted and transferred, and moving into different divisions, or going to different markets and running different organizations, and we've created this class of homeless executives, people who can work anywhere, but don't really have any relational commitment anywhere.
ANNE ISON: We went to Tulsa with a thought that we were going to start a new life for ourselves.
JONATHON ISON: It was my opportunity to manage all the promotions and marketing relationships for the entire U.S. market. The biggest single mistake we made was underestimating how much we miss our life with our family, and our lifestyle. I don't mean lifestyle by size of house, and the number of cars, types of cars. I mean lifestyle by way of family events, church family, aging parents.
ANNIE: I don't think we realized that it was going to be as hard as it was, and we're both very strong people, and we get along with everybody. You know, "How could this be happening?" We learned more about ourselves, we learned more about our marriage. It was stretched, it was strained.
JONATHON: It was very difficult to get those roots planted, because nothing was familiar. The ground wasn't familiar. The sun was different. The make-up of the soil was completely foreign to us. So it was very difficult.

ANNIE: I think belonging is something each one of us needs. It's a heart issue, it's a heart thing, um, and you need that to feel whole, and we weren't feeling that when we were away.

JONATHON (O/S): Remember how hot it was?
DAUGHTER (O/S): Mm-hmm!
ANNIE: Do you? Remember we found out we even had heat exhaustion when we moved to Tulsa? A position came up last year, and it was something in Taiwan, and Jonathan was looking over this position because, you know, it sounds great on paper, and I said to him, "If you want to take this position, you can, but I'm staying in this house, and I'm staying in this community, and you can come back and forth. So if you'd like it to be like that, then this could work." [laughing]
DR. DAVID LYON: It used to be the case much more that people would find their sense of identity and belonging and who they felt comfortable with at their workplace. I mean, one of the key trends is towards more and more individualization of work, so work becomes more flexible, unsynchronized with what others might be doing at the same time, more of a personalized matter. For many, many people, it's now uncertain what you're going to be doing next, where you're going to be, the hours at which you're going to be working. All those things make life very much less predictable, and that I see as the backdrop to this quest for belonging.
VANIER: What is a mature man or woman? What does it mean to be fully human? I mean, we're much more in the terms of success, diplomas, and such, and so we have to refine the language, the language of human maturity. What does it mean to be fully, fully human?

MARY JO LEDDY: There was one man who, when he came, he had a briefcase, and he would carry this briefcase wherever he went, and I thought "There must be something really important in that." And then one night, there was a long-distance call in the middle of the night, and I went to his door, and knocked, and told him there was a call, and I could see as the door opened that the briefcase was that he was using it as a pillow. So the next day I said to him, "You know, if you've got something really important that briefcase, you know, we have a safe if you want to put it there, if you're worried, or... or do you need a pillow?" And he said, "There's nothing in it." So as long as he carried the briefcase, he still had an identity. Who would you be without your briefcase? Who would you be? Without the letters on your desk, and the this... and things to do, and get up in the morning, and, like, who would you be? So, I think we all do it. I think we all have our little... our little bag, and there's usually nothing in it.

SONG:There will be no consolation prize
This time the bone has broken clean
No baptism, no reprise
And no sweet taste of victory
All the stars have fallen from the sky
And everything else in between
Satellites have closed their eyes
The moon has gone to sleep
ESTHER BRYAN: It becomes survival of the fittest, but that's a very dangerous way, because, you know, we are all just that close to not being at the top, and that puts tremendous pressure on people to perform, to be who they're not. I don't think that brings out what is best in mankind.
VANIER: Power and strength can separate people, whereas weakness, and recognition of weakness, and the cry for help brings people together. When you're weak, you need people. It's very easy. When you're strong, you don't need people. You can do everything on your own. So somewhere, the weak person calls people together, and when the weak call forth the strong, what happens is they awaken what is most beautiful in a human person-- compassion, goodness, openness to another, and so on. Our weakness brings people together.
DALLA COSTA: Our society tells us that we can be made complete by buying things. Many marketers actually use the proposition of belonging to try to sell products and services. "You belong in the Bahamas for a vacation." "You belong in a Ford to feel sexy or successful." "You belong with the Coke generation," or whatever it is, trying to satisfy our need for relationship by interjecting a product or a service.
LEDDY: There's so many inauthentic forms of belonging. If you all wear the same clothes, you belong. If you all listen to the same music, you belong. You go to the huge stadiums, hockey games, football games, basketball games, you belong, and that is the loneliest form of existence. That's the lonely crowd.

MATT CHAPMAN: When I'm downtown, bumping shoulders with hundreds of people, that's where I feel most alone. I'm so crowded with things that don't make me feel like I have any connection to them. I always felt like I was skipping along the surface with everybody else and had no connection, no sense of identity.

VANIER: Belonging is not something purely material. You see, to be fully belonging, you have to learn how to be alone, and so one cannot live belonging in an open way, loving my brothers and sisters, without knowing how to live our loneliness, because loneliness is something very fundamental. Loneliness comes because I'm not God.
CROWD (O/S): [cheering]
VANIER: Competition can be beautiful in the way that it stretches people. What happens, though, with competition, is that we start pushing the others down, and then revealing to others, "Because you're not in competition, you're no good." I believe that humanity is called to become a body where every body is important, and not a pyramid where up at the top, you have a few who have power, privileges, money, and such, and then at the bottom, you have all the slaves of this world, and there are a lot of slaves today in this world.
SONG: I've proven who I am so many times
The magnetic strip's worn thin
And each time I was someone else
And everyone was taken in...
VANIER: So we're this mixture of incredible beauty, capacity to do incredibly beautiful things, and also this incredible fear of being crushed, so we have this tension inside of us somewhere, to prove that I am the best, and at the same time, this fear that maybe I don't exist. I have to discover inside of myself all those powers where I'm pushing people away to prove that I'm okay.
Belonging and Exclusion – Clip 3
BABY: [crying]
VANIER: We belong to mom. That's our growth. It's through this belonging that I was conceived, through the relationship of a man and woman, and I belong to them.
DIANNE MARSHALL: Bonding is essential for a baby. Babies who don't have enough love often die. So we know that love is foundational. A child needs to feel they are beloved to their parent.
FATHER: ...Grandson.

GRANDFATHER: It's a boy.

FAMILY: Aw.... [laughing in delight]
FATHER: Eight pounds, 11 ounces.
MARSHALL: Without that sense of belonging and connectedness, there's not a chance for healthy emotional development, let alone physical health and strength.
GRANDMOTHER: Oh, Bryson, welcome.
VANIER: You just have to see parents when their child has just been born. You just have to see their excitement, and this little, weak child is bringing people together, and the friends come, and everybody wants to touch him. It's the power of the weak, the incredible power of the weak. The weak person reveals that it's okay for me to be weak, too.
LISA MILLAR: I think belonging is everything to a child. Belonging and having that social network allows you to cope, allows you to deal with the challenges of being a child.
DEBBIE LEE: Self-confidence is the biggest thing you can give a child, and if they feel that they belong in your classroom, and that they're allowed to make mistakes and take risks, and won't be judged for those things, it's enormous what it can do for their abilities and their successes in life.
RYAN HARLOCK: There's a tendency to feel like a misfit, I think, for some kids, but I think if you can find something that is uniquely yours, something that, you know, you can say to yourself, "I'm good at this, this is my thing," and I think that that can go quite a ways to giving that person a sense of belonging, and, "This is where I need to be."
DR. SANDRA BOSAKI: The social codes the classroom are just so intricate and complex. These children decide what the rules are and who is different. That's the bottom line is that, if you're different from the rest, you're excluded.

SEAN: I was bullied a lot when I was in kindergarten to about grade three. It started because of my high voice when I was young, and I was called a girl a lot. Rumours would be spread around about it when new kids came to school. They'd call me names. They'd... It was mean.

DR. ZOPITO MARINI: One of the consequences of bullying, that we find, is indeed that the... that people's sense of self gets diminished, and if this happens over and over again, you can see that people basically do suffer a great deal.
SEAN: That saying, "Sticks and stone can break your bones, but names will never hurt you"? It's the exact opposite. They will hurt you, and they will haunt you for the rest of your life.
MARINI: Words can do a terrific amount of damage to people, and I think the worst part of that is that they leave no physical trace on people, but they definitely leave an imprint on their souls and on their psyche.
ROBBIE: Yes, I have been teased, um called stupid and stuff. I really don't come home with bruises, but sometimes if I do, then there's a gang of kids that beat me up. Sometimes I defend myself, but I can't defend against three kids.
MARINI: Friendship, having a friend, is perhaps one of the greatest protective factors that you can have. Usually we find if people have friends, they're less likely to be bullied.
MELANIE: Usually if you're in the group of people, you're more wanted. Like, you're in it. Like, you're the one making fun of the other person. But, um, if you're not in the group of people, you're the one being made fun of, and it's, like, all pinpointed at you. Oh man, I feel sorry for you.
MARINI: When we talk about emotional bullying, and even verbal bullying, that whole issue of excluding people is basically denying people that they belong.
ROBBIE: It doesn't feel good to be on the outside of a group. It kind of feels sad.
MARINI: By and large, people don't like to hang around bullies, and their prognosis is not good... so that, unless we intervene, the schoolyard bully could become a boardroom bully.

VANIER: Human beings are so fragile, and because we are so fragile, we so need to be loved. You see, to love someone is not just to hold onto them and protect them. To love someone is to reveal, and what do we reveal? “You are precious. Have trust in yourself. You can grow. You've got gifts. You're special."

Uprootedness and New Belonging: Stories of Refugees – Clip 4
VANIER: How can I, today, be an artisan of peace and to pray that I have the strength to welcome the enemy, and that enemy might be in my own family.
NARRATOR: In many countries today, communities are devastated by violence. People are uprooted from everything that gives them identity and security, and they become refugees. Felix was forced to flee his homeland because of persecution.
FELIX OJARA OPIO: I’ve experienced torture, especially even in my country, in my own village even. They abducted me three times, and the third one was… I felt it was really very severe because I was even admitted in the hospital, and I took one month in the hospital. And the money, even to use my own money just to be cured. So those two tortures, I hope I will never forget them in my life.
DALLA COSTA: What's ironic is that many of our countries that have been created out of immigration have actually become very cold-hearted towards these refugees of necessity, and we've put up all sorts of barriers. We even call people who flee some of these horrendous situations "illegal immigrants," like somehow there's a legal frame for dealing with this dehumanizing and threatening reality.
LEDDY: What refugees have experienced is, they've been evicted from their country, and they don't yet have acceptance here, and so refugees can live for many years in a limbo situation in which they have no rights, and that is a profound insecurity. They don't know if they can belong here.
SONG: I am an orphan on God's highway
But I'll share my troubles if you go my way
I have no mother, nor father
No sister, no brother
I am an orphan girl...

BENJAMIN SANTAMARIA: I had to escape. I had to come here because there was a murder of a person I knew. She was very close to me. She was a lawyer. She was a very important activist for human rights and she was murdered. And many of my friends were threatened also, and that was the moment when I said, “I have to go.”

LEDDY: When a country is in crisis, the first people to flee, because they have to, are journalists, academics, teachers, politicians, opposition leaders, because they're the ones who have tried to, in the normal way, object to what's going on, so they will be the first to flee, maybe the last that are able to.
SANTAMARIA: I was just about to start a class with my children in a school in a very poor village in Mexico, and two men came and they told me, “So you are the hero of children, huh? You have to stop talking to them about their rights.” I took all my things and I came here. And I remember that night, the plane stopped I kneel myself and I bow, and I kiss the land of Canada, and I said, “Whatever, God, um, eternal power, I don’t know, whatever is your name, I bless this land, and I bless this land because I want that this land could save the children from Latin America.”
ANNE WOOLGER: Sometimes people say to me, "Oh, well, don't you think most refugees, they just want to come here because it's, you know, a better life. We have, you know, a better economy or whatever," but I would strongly argue that no, the vast majority, if there was peace in their homeland, they would go back. It's their home. Some who arrive here have been through trauma. They've been tortured, they've lost loved ones. It's really a difficult time. We have people from all different walks of life come here. We have a lot of professionals. We have doctors, engineers, lawyers, and I think, for them, sometimes it's almost more difficult, because not only have they lost their family and their homeland, but they've lost their identity.
WOOLGER: I want to say welcome back to Valery. Valery used to live at Matthew House.

VALERY ZIRIMWABAGABO: To be a refugee in my life, I didn’t plan to to go somewhere in a country to ask to be a refugee, but it happened. If it wasn’t the people who are sharing my pain with me today, I think that I could be somewhere in a mental health somewhere. My head wanted to go there. But because I found some people who welcome me, who I feel like I was belonging to somewhere, it was a very big thing for me.

LEDDY: The more we can see that the world is God's home, belongs to God, I think we are then more likely to say, "Well, it's not mine to say who else can belong and who can't." In the heart of God, there's room enough for everybody. It's because our hearts are so small that there isn't room for everybody to belong.
VANIER: On the 11th of September, something on the worldwide level happened. Suddenly that country, which in many ways appeared invulnerable, suddenly they find inside of themselves an incredible vulnerability.
ALIWEIWI: If you were an Arab or a Muslim, or a person who appears to be an Arab or a Muslim, issues of identity and belonging, and carving a space and a safe place for you in a society as diverse and multicultural as North America, reality came crashing after September 11th. Suddenly you became "the other," and you were placed outside that safe space that you once felt you were a part of.
VANIER: We have to all become conscious that there is good and evil in each one of us, and the whole question for a human being is how to help people rise up in goodness. What do I need to rise up in goodness? And what are the factors that make me fearful, push people away, and crush people?
ALIWEIWI: It's truly a two-way exchange, and as much as I demand of the new world to tolerate and to provide for me the safe space to be part of, I really have to make an effort to express my belonging, my loyalty, my solidarity, in many ways, culturally, artistically, politically, but it's a constant challenge, and I think it's an ongoing process.

LEDDY: We have to welcome the world. I don't think we have any choice in this. I mean, we can build our little wall around fortress America, and it may hold for a while, but we will not be able to live in this world. We will not be able to learn. We will not be able to do politics. We will end up at war with each other because we don't know each other.

VANIER: We're entering in a totally new age where either we're going to move into universalism and a quest for greater love that needs to discover culture, to discover language, to be proud of culture, to love one's culture, but to be open to other people's culture, which is something about welcoming difference.
Understanding Conflict: A Search for Belonging – Clip 5
TERRY LEBLANC: I think a lot of the struggle in native North America today is around finding that place to belong, finding an identity, which, for us, is historically very much connected with the land, very much connected with the place of existence, the people of existence, and so on. We've been increasingly excluded, and increasingly forced into those small parcels of land with no rights or responsibilities for participation in the wider society, and that's... it's kind of like being told in your own home "You have no access to the living room, the bedroom, the dining room, or the refrigerator. This little spot in the closet is where you stay," as the party goes on around you.
LEBLANC: We were a welcoming people. I think we've lost some of that due to the ravages of the experience of colonialism, but it's still deep within us to be a welcoming people.
[explosions and gunfire]
DOW MARMUR: Anybody who tells me that he or she has the formula how to resolve the conflict usually don't, and their formula, when you analyze it, means doing away with the other, and that's no formula.

LYON: The sense of belonging can never be separated from the quest for justice. You cannot have a sense of belonging that perpetrates injustice to others. On a national level, the idea of national self-determination can never be used to deny the possibility of self-determination to another group.

JEHAD ALIWEIWI: The physical place of where you live is incredibly important to forming an identity, to forming a sense of belonging, but also, in the case of the Palestinians, the great majority of us, their identity was formed lamenting the loss of that great physical space, so your whole sense of belonging is revolving around how to re-locate to the place and space that you feel that is rightfully yours.
MARMUR: The drama is that, on the one hand, there is great opportunity for sharing in that sense of belonging, particularly in view of the fact of the common history, in view of the fact of how much of the holy scriptures of all three religious traditions have in common, and how they are rooted in the land of Israel. The challenge is how to make people recognize that there is another way of belonging than just building my own little borders.
VANIER: Unity is more precious than proving that I am better than you, and that's what we have to discover in our world. The unity of humanity is more precious today than any proving of anything, and then as we enter that, we discover what inside of me pushes the other, and then I have to learn something about forgiveness, because the heart of everything is forgiveness. I've hurt you, you've hurt me. Well, we can forgive each other.
LYON: Forgiveness is the key, because it is in forgiving that we find acceptance. It's in forgiving that we find inclusion, as opposed to exclusion. The excluded person is still unforgiven, unaccepted. They can't meet the standards. We can't let them in. Forgiveness says, "None of us can meet the standards. Welcome. You're forgiven."
SONG: You weave fabric for the tablecloth from clothes your very own...
VANIER: The heart of humanity, or the story of it, is to grow towards compassion.
SONG: The centrepiece reveals your work your life your very own...

LYON: Is belonging simply a matter of trying to be with those with whom we think we have some similarities? Or is it a matter of working out our differences by accepting and learning to belong together?

[prayers sung]
JAVED AKBAR: It is not the intention of God to turn your faces towards east or west, but to follow the grand narrative, to reach out to the destitute, to the orphaned, to the deprived, and to the homeless. There's a compelling catharsis that binds all of us together, wherein the Qur'an calls God's creation as a family, and as a family, we can better serve God's purposes in this wider world by reaching out to those who are different from us.
VANIER: We have to find a spirituality which is not running away from suffering, but entering into suffering and discovering a presence of God and a presence of people in pain, so becoming human is that whole growth to a maturity, the development of the intelligent, but the intelligence at the service of love and of humanity.

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