Of Great Value

13 Jul

“Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value.”  ~ Desmond Tutu

In the 70’s and 80’s, probably the only person more popular than Desmond Tutu among black South Africans would have been Nelson Mandela.  And Mandela would have only inched him out for that position.  That is how well known, respected, and revered Tutu had become.  Apartheid, racism, bigotry, and radicalism were abundant in his society and he did his best to address it.  His manner of doing so made him a target for almost every group.  His message, nonetheless, almost always distilled to love.

Tutu supported those who used non-violent means to protest apartheid.  When many of the protests became violent, he would condemn the violence and urge peaceful methods.  He knew that violence begets violence and that love begets love.  His constant call for love and peaceful solutions to the problems besetting society garnered him international attention.  In 1984, he received the Nobel Peace Prize and, upon accepting it, dedicated it to “the little people in South Africa.”

There is much ill will in our world.  In our own country, it often seems that hatred, bigotry and racism are multiplying uncontrollably.  Protests are more often violent anymore rather than peaceful.  I think there are too many who do not want to care about what anyone else thinks or feels.  All they are willing to do is push their own agenda even if their agenda causes havoc.

There is a solution.  It was introduced to us thousands of years ago.  “Love your enemies, pray for your persecutors.”  “Love one another as I have loved you.”  When we choose to hate, we are saying, in effect, that others have no value.  When we love, we acknowledge the value of others.  And well we should because all of us, each and every one of us, have been created in God’s image and likeness.  That is not only valuable.  It’s priceless.  Let’s begin to cherish it as such.

FAITH ACTION:  Do everything you do this day — whether large or small — with great love.