February 23, 2014

Service

Today's On Being broadcast concluded with an anecdote about Dorothy Day and added another observation by Xavier Le Pichon.

Ms. Tippett: I’ve always been moved by the story of Dorothy Day at eight years old, during the San Francisco earthquake. She saw people pouring out in the streets to take care of each other, and she asked herself the question she then followed for the rest of her life: why can’t we live this way all the time? I also once posed this story and this question to the geophysicist and Catholic spiritual thinker, Xavier Le Pichon.

Xavier Le Pichon: You have this kind of big awakenings when the big catastrophe happens, either a collective one like a war or major accident, but it can be also a tragedy inside the family, not just outside. And they may react in a way that you cannot predict. Sometimes it’s very bad. Sometimes it opens them up. So it’s something difficult but my experience is that once you enter into this way of, I would call it companionship, you know, walking with the suffering person that has come into your life and that you have not rejected, then your heart progressively gets educated by them. You know, they teach you a new way of being.

Ms. Tippett: Right. Your heart gets educated. I like that.

Dr. Le Pichon: Yeah. Yes. We have to be educated by the other. Our heart cannot be educated by yourself. I mean, my heart cannot be educated by myself. It can only come out of relationship with others.

By chance, another observation by Mother Theresa was added at Twitter this morning.