August 12th Hazelden Thought for the Day
It is a terrible, an inexorable law that one cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one’s own: in the face of one’s victim, one sees oneself.
Acting totally in our self-interest is shortsighted and foolishly simple. Attacking another person or another nation reflects upon us like a mirror. When any person is undermined, the human race is diminished in some measure. And humanity is our family.
Sometimes we see a reflection of ourselves in someone else and fail to recognize it. What we hate most in another may well be what we hate in ourselves. Knowing this can be useful. Perhaps our teeth are set on edge when we think about an ex-wife, or father, or former friend, or a religious or racial group. How are we like that person or group? What do they cause us to face within ourselves? When we stop diminishing the other person we may still not like him or her, but we can come to terms with ourselves. We learn to live and let live.
God, help me engage in the brotherhood of my own family and with all people – and to see my own face, even in my enemy.
From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men ©1986, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved