“For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them.” – Thomas More, British Author
In thinking about the people we serve and the opportunity to make a difference, after reading the above quote in the Knoxville News Sentinel, I am compelled to ask my readers a question. Are we teaching our children the values that lead to caring, compassionate and loving behavior?
My desire is for all people to possess a burning need for establishing loving communities in the affordable housing industry that will have a positive impact throughout communities. Love is very powerful and can unite many people. I believe that the opposite of love is not hate; but rather a lack of concern for people who are less fortunate than most.
When addressing problems associated with a divided society, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., envisioned a community of people being held together by love. He viewed love as a force that appreciated differences and that had the power to bring together that which was separated.
Dr. King’s legacy lay in his belief that love is inclusive. As long as one person suffers from oppression, a form of separation, all persons are at risk for separation. Love however enables humans to see in others that which fulfills their own lives and satisfies the longing to belong to each other, a common ground for maximizing the human potential.
Real love is evoked by admirable qualities possessed by the one to whom love is extended. A beloved community is based on the idea of quality traits and a commitment to loyalty and faithfulness.
In our affordable housing communities there are great opportunities to foster a beloved community. And like true love, we may sometimes have to look beyond the faults and see the need. And never give up, never give up, never give up.
By Chaplain Ghosten