Filtering People

Understanding and Confronting Our Prejudices, by James Cole

Watch the related video: The masks we wear obstruct our vision and threaten to destroy our future.

Foreward by Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu

In Africa we have a saying that a person is a person through other people. Our humanity stems from our ability to relate to other people and to God. When we alienate ourselves from each other we debase ourselves. What self-inflicted poverty!

It seems we have great difficulty in accepting each other perhaps because we cannot accept ourselves. Too often we are looking back over our shoulder checking. “Am I alright?” Comparing ourselves to others: and yet we are not like anybody else. No two people are the same. That is quite bind-boggling and what a miracle of God. He has made each person different that each may be valued for that very difference, reflecting God’s love and the diversity of creation. A creation of which we are all a part not just as equals, but more than that, as family, the human family, God’s family.

You do not choose your family they are God’s gift to you as you are to them. You may not agree with your brother or sister but you can never renounce them. They are always your family. If we were to see each person as a brother or sister how could we let them go hungry, or cold, or lonely, or fight in wars against them or be treated differently to ourselves? No you would want the very best for your family. It is when we have this attitude we become most fully human and strangely, we no longer need to look over our shoulder.

Desmond M. Tutu
The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa