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The “Person” Movement: We are all human


by Mark Kurowski

STAFF WRITER

A 32” Flat Panel Television for my basement space that has the surround sound with the Xbox, but a small television currently—that is what I want for Christmas when you first ask me.  Yet, there is something more that I want for Christmas, because Christmas doesn’t start until December 25 and goes until January 6.  The idea came from a Muslim.

During our every other week Catholic-Muslim Dialogue in KN 422 on Tuesdays, Muslims and Catholics meet to discuss issues from our different faith perspectives.  The point is not to convert each other, but to understand each other so that we live in harmony.  The Catholic Church teaches that the first aim of Catholics with persons of other religions is to live in harmony.  So, we meet and we talk.

The topic of the day shifted (as it always does shift from one thing to another) to the Israeli-Palestinian show down.  There were differing views about who has a right to the land, who was right and how great it was that the Palestinians could make some sort of show of force to defend themselves, that Israel did have a right to exist, you name it, it was there.  Then, in the midst of the conversation, one of the Muslim students said, “I wish we could just look at each other as people.”

AMEN! I wish we could look at each other as human beings.  Instead, we often make the other person into an object: a “Palestinian,” a “Israeli,” a “hottie,” a “jerk,” a “loser,” a “brown person,” a “[insert your adjective here].”  I would like to start a “person” movement.  #Person.

My Person Movement would insist that we would look at each other as human beings before we look at each other as parties to a cause.  Human beings require love, respect, housing, education, a living wage, health care, and the right to not be exploited for our sexual, monetary or any other gain.  In my “Person Movement,” we would acknowledge that each person is good just because they are.  My Person Movement would insist that we begin to let the needs of persons other than ourselves have all that they need to flourish and that I would commit myself to giving them what they need to be all they were meant to be from the moment of their conception to the moment of their death.

Don’t you think My Person Movement would be a great way to organize life, even political life?  How much land is there to accommodate all the people who live in Palestine/Israel?  Is there enough?  OK, can we make sure that each Person has what they need?

If you like My Person Movement, we have another name for it: catholic.  There is another name for it: Benedictine.  Maybe it is time for us to apply My Person Movement to all the situations around the world and in our own back yard?  Yes, it is.  It is even better than a 32” Flat Panel Television (but I can always hope!).

Mark Kurowski, M.Div. is the Director of University of Ministry at Benedictine University.  He can be reached at mkurowski@ben.edu or (630) 829-6029