As part of 50th anniversary celebrations, L’Arche Brisbane hosted a jubilee dinner with guest speaker Eileen Glass—the first Australian International Vice Leader of L’Arche International. Her speech is a fascinating exploration of the challenges and opportunities presented by diversity. The weakest and most frail are not a burden, she says, they enrich our communities.
One of the significant challenges facing our country, and our world, concerns our response to human diversity, including human frailty and the felt experience of ‘otherness’. As travel and technology makes the world seem ‘smaller’ than it once was we become more aware of great diversity of peoples, cultures, languages and religions. This diversity contains the potential to wonderfully enrich human life and experience. As we embrace and live it we discover that together we can accomplish marvelous things. However every gift contains a shadow and the shadow of human diversity is that it becomes a point of conflict, of exclusion and even of persecution.
Take a look at the rest of Eileen’s speech on L’Arche Brisbane’s website.