All I ask is that you see my humanity, which means seeing the humanity in all people.
With this foundation, I think we can have healthy disagreements.
Without this foundation, we are all diminished - not equally, not materially, but spiritually.
That which diminishes me, diminishes you.
That which harms you, harms me.
When one's heart is attuned with softness, when the hardness of our broken hearts has been melted by the tender truth of our interrelatedness, this truth, called ubuntu, can be directly experienced.
The humanity in me is the humanity in you.
Your suffering is my suffering.
Your liberation is my liberation.
This is the fundamental background of reality. While we may be separate in another sense, and that is our foreground experience, to see our situation clearly, we must hold both realities in their fullness. That is the way.
We are individuals, all of us, but we are also a prism through which the whole splendor and beauty of our human family can be felt and seen.
That is why I ask you to see my humanity when you look into my eyes, which means seeing the humanity in all people.
Tim Hjersted is the co-founder and director of Films For Action, a people-powered library for social change.
Films For Action was formed by a few friends from Lawrence, Kansas in 2006 in response to a fundamental critique of our highly consolidated, for-profit media system. We believe a healthy media ecosystem is essential to a healthy democracy.