From Becoming Human by Jean Vanier (the man who founded L 'Arche, an international network of communities for people with intellectual disabilities)
- We human beings are all fundamentally the same. We all belong to a common, broken humanity. We all have wounded, vulnerable hearts. Each of us needs to feel appreciated and understood; we all need help. 37
- If we deny our weakness and the reality of death, if we want to be powerful and strong always, we deny a part of our being, we live an illusion. To be human is to accept who we are, this mixture of strength and weakness. To be human is to accept and love others just as they are...weakness carries with it a secret power. The cry and trust that flows from weakness can open hearts. The one who is weaker can call forth powers of love in the one who is stronger. 40
- Belonging is a beautiful but terrible reality. In every relationship there are times of light and bliss, when two people call forth that which is most beautiful in each other...However, there are times not only of light and bliss but of darkness and depression. In each of us, there is a shadow side...40-41
- We do not discover who we are, we do not reach true humanness, in a solitary state; we discover it through mutual dependency, in weakness, in learning through belonging. 41
- One who is weak, who lives in true communion with another, will not see his own weakness as something to be judged, as something negative, he will sense that he is appreciated, that he has a place.
- The heart is never "successful." It does not want power, honours, privilege, or efficiency; it seeks a personal relationship with another, a communion of hearts, which is the to-and-fro of love. 63
- It is in belonging that people discover what it means to be human. 66
I'm only about halfway through this book, but couldn't resist sharing these words today. Hope something makes you sit up and take notice.