Everything is in a dialogue with its ‘other.’ Electron and proton. Sea and land. Day and night. Male and female. Individual and community. Finite and infinite. Spirit and matter. To know who I am, I must also know who you are. To know who we are, we must also know who they are. So is with religion. To be, my authority, my experience, my community, my mystery and my miracles are not enough.
I have to remap my reality to include–in tension and in gratitude–‘the other.’ We can learn from them, we can learn we will never be them, and we can learn that although we will never be them we need them. It is vitality and beauty of ‘the other’ that make us aware of our limits in a healthy way.
How do we live as custodians of our beautiful story in the world of many beautiful stories? How do we love our beloved mystery when we need other mysteries in order to live? How can we fulfill the promises of our faith to the world when doing so depends on us helping them fulfill promises of their faith?
To love well, we thought we only need to know the object of our love. Now, we see the object as a subject with her own love. What others see and experience when they see us, hear us, live with us–we now understand–matters.
Interdependence has always sustained our lives. I am because we are. We are because we and they are together. Yet, like never before in human history, we are actually becoming aware of this. Dialogue is a principle of life! And of our survival! While our human ancestors fought for independence, ours is The Great Struggle for Interdependence.
These are times like no other in history. This is a new clearing. New space. New time. Holy insecurity. Holy weakness. Holy awkwardness.
Can we learn to thank ‘the other’ for our own meaning? Can we allow ‘the other’ to revitalize our being?