Last Monday, we were blessed to have Naomi Tutu, the third child of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, come and speak in Trinity’s Worldview Lecture series. I came expecting great stories about her father, in who I look up to so much. I came expecting to listen to passionate arguments against racism, on her struggles of being black and female in apartheid South Africa. I came expecting to be convinced that being a minority should not be an issue.
But instead, I was blown away by stories of her self-identity. Of how the issue at hand is not how minorities are treated, but how every human being is viewed. She talks about how it was confusing for her to grow up in the Church being told that “you are of infinite worth” and yet, even in a country that claims to be Christian, was told by society that “you are something less than human” because she was black and a woman.
Instead, I listened to arguments about how to view people. How we need to see people as someone of infinite worth in which my God dwells, instead of a white soldier or a potential terrorist. This challenged me specifically because there are so many times where I make assumptions based on first impressions, not just based on their looks but on how they speak, how they act, how they dress, etc. I believe this applies to our society as a whole.
The issue here is not being a minority, or that we are treating the minority badly. The issue here is how we view people as a whole. Are we viewing and treating people based on what we think? On our assumptions based on the first (or second, or third, or more) looks? How will we treat people differently if we view them as what God want us to view them? As someone of infinite worth, that Christ died for them.
So, here’s the challenge. Let’s reflect on how we view our peers, professors, faculty and staff, or even strangers. Are we viewing them the way God wants us to? Or are our views clouded by our assumptions and judgments? I believe that by viewing others the way God want us to, we would have a society in which “hate is not part of our faith” and a “world in which love, is the real currency.”