Humans are mirrors, we reflect back totwenty20_48928770-e4e0-4093-baa8-3e999459c341 one another what we cannot see in ourselves. Most of the time, our preference is to arrange our relationships, so to ensure the positive self-reflection meets our requirements. Society tells us what those should be included via social norms, and where we stand according to others, via dominant discourses.

Spiritual teachers and leaders tell us otherwise. Human identity is not a silo, and by excluding a person (any person) we exclude a diverse feature of our own undiscovered self. We have chosen narrow mirrors and only discovered sameness, the features of ourselves that reflect back only our carefully controlled and socially approved likeness. Even though our unique personhood is enlivened by those who challenge and expand our self-concept.  It is the different, the unique, other cultures, personhoods, orientations, worldviews, and religions that reveal selfhood to us we would not have known otherwise. We would never have our identity needs met without them, and so with their need for us. Persons in community are those who effectively balance the security of the unique self with the diversity of community.

 

At the root of Conflict… Identity