Creating the ‘Other’ is Never Charitable or Kind

A person must choose how they will deal with those who offend. They should do all they can to avoid letting the offensive, intended or unintended, control their lives. With this being said, the person who offends, intended or unintended, should be held accountable for their behavior.

Society expects its members to conform to certain patterns and behaviors. Members of society who offend, and even those who work hard to avoid offending, can fall into the misbelief that those who have distanced themselves from the heart of the society, or who have left all together, are individuals who have chosen to be offended by the society or a member of the society. By embracing this belief, those who have distanced or removed themselves become the other*.

There are people who offend regularly, some with intent and some through ignorance of their own actions. Rather than modifying their own behavior in order to be less offensive, they condemn the other as being victims of poor choices.

Personal agency requires personal accountability, but to assume that someone outside the center of the community is there because of wrong-doing or because they are angry for having been the recipient of offense lacks charity and undermines the success of the community; unless, of course, the objective of the community is to weed out all but those who seek power over others.

A community or society built upon charity and benevolence will find itself woefully weakened if it loses sight of the understanding that all who are distant are those in most need of charity, kindness, and acceptance. This acceptance may be simply in the form of respecting the choices the individual has made rather than condemning the individual. Creating the other is never charitable or kind-spirited.

 

 

* the other defined –  a group or member of a group that is perceived as different, foreign, strange, etc

* the other (sociological)

* the other (philosophical)

 

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