The Best and Brightest
Inspiration from Ignatius and Oscar
When Ignatius encountered someone veering from the path of wisdom and goodness, his prescribed tactic was never opposition but rather a posture of respect and love, a call to mutual understanding and an invitation to a better way. In his 16th century words:
...it is necessary to suppose that every good Christian is more ready to put a good interpretation on another's statement than to condemn it as false. If an orthodox construction cannot be put on a proposition, the one who made it should be asked how he understands it. If he is in error, he should be corrected with all kindness. If this does not suffice, all appropriate means should be used to bring him to a correct interpretation, and so to defend the proposition from error.
Our culture is rather fond of confrontation. If the goal is to get someone to adjust their perspective, isn't it a good question to ask whether confrontation should be set aside to give friendly "conversation" a chance?
"The common good will not be attained by excluding people. We can't enrich the common good of our country by driving out those we don't care for. We have to try to bring out all that is good in each person and try to develop an atmosphere of trust...with a moral force that draws out the good that is in everyone, especially in concerned young people."
(July 10, 1977)