Today I read a quote from the Agha Khan IV advocating a pluralistic ethic that sees “difference as strength in a world that is becoming increasingly diverse and, as a result, increasingly complex.” He enumerated the strengths that might serve to overcome such challenges:

“…a vital sense of balance, an abundant capacity for compromise, more than a little sense of patience, an appropriate degree of humility, a good measure of forgiveness, and a genuine welcoming of human difference.”

The first two of the qualities in that list, and perhaps the last of them, have merit in many circumstances and need to be frequently pondered. I believe that the other three – patience, humility, and forgiveness – should be immediately embraced in all circumstances by anyone who professes a true commitment to freedom and democracy.


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