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By Paul Ainslie, President of SVdP Indy

There is an important 19th century African idea captured in the Nguni Bantu word ubuntu: the recognition of the interconnectedness of humanity. More elegantly, ubuntu is expressed like this: “I am because you are,” and therefore “you are because I am.” Please take a moment to think about this concept.

This simple but beautiful word fits closely with the Catholic Church’s teaching on social justice. There is no “us” and “them,” only “we.” We are all one on earth as part of God’s plan.

When immigrants are dehumanized, when members of a race, religion or culture are demonized, when hate, injustice and violence are directed toward some part of society, we all are victims. And in some sense, we are all culpable, too.

As Christians, we profess the supremacy of one God, and we root our morals in one law: “Love one another as I have loved you.” In all our work at SVdP Indy, we strive to see Christ in everyone, both those we serve and those who serve with us. Sometimes the barriers seem tall and wide between us, when in reality the barriers are only in our minds.

As complex as life is every day–and as difficult as solutions to many problems may be–we already have the guidance we need to see a pathway towards peace and justice.

(Based in part on an essay by Rev. Nathan Day Wilson of the Christian Theological Seminary, published in the Indy Star 8/4/19 and used with permission.)