Jean Vanier – “simplicity on the other side of complexity”

Written by on November 19, 2010

Oliver Wendell Holmes(1841 -1935) said, “I wouldn’t give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my very life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.” This quote comes to mind when I think of Jean Vanier, Canadian philosopher and Catholic social innovator. He is truly a wise man. After finishing a doctorate in moral philosophy he invited two men with Down’s syndrome to leave the institution and live with him in 1964. This act began what would become the L’Arche movement, an international organization “dedicated to the creation and growth of homes, programs, and support networks with people who have intellectual disabilities.” His words and life of kindness and community offer… …such a prophetic message in the driven, individualistic, achievement-oriented culture of which we find ourselves. In fall of 2007 he was interviewed by NPR’s Krista Tippett. As we approach this holiday season block out some time to listen in on this refreshing and challenging interview with Vanier. How might his discoveries along the way speak to your context and calling?    The Wisdom of Tenderness from onBeing on Vimeo.


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