Unfortunately despite our best efforts, discrimination remains too common in our personal and community lives and in the wider communities in which we live and work. Discrimination happens whenever we speak about or treat some people worse than others because of some quality that we judge is not appropriate or good enough.
We may judge people by their religion, their ethnicity or race, their education or seeming lack thereof, their poverty or wealth, their experience of physical or mental illness, the colour of their skin or their fluency in our language. If we refuse to listen respectfully or interact with some people, it may well be because we are prejudiced against them.
No doubt we all have some prejudices, so discrimination is a common fault we must acknowledge and work to move beyond. It’s when we act on the prejudices in our relationships that we discriminate against other.
Recognising and overcoming our prejudices is a lifetime’s work so zero discrimination is not a goal we can expect to achieve in an instant. However, it is one at which we should aim in our personal lives and relationships, in our communities, in our work and in our society.
The coming weeks of Lent offer us an opportunity to reflect on how our God loves and accepts each person just as they are and how we are called to live out this same love and acceptance.