There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations–these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours… Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. — C.S. Lewis
It is a certainty that one of the things most taken for granted in life is our fellow human. It is perhaps one of the Devil’s trickier sleights, allowing us to see others but not really notice, to hear but not really listen. Rather than acknowledge the potential beauty and weight behind all our daily interactions with our brothers and sisters, we prefer to cast gems as rocks, to have the lack of perfection that runs throughout all of humanity be reason enough to say that not everyone is worth our time and attention. There is no wrong in having preference or practicing selectivity in association and friendship, nor is it wrong to the denounce evil in others, whether mild or extreme. But how often do we choose to acknowledge the potential lying within every person good or bad, the potential to create, to reason, to innovate, to inspire? Truly, of all the things we are daily exposed to, “your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.” The shortest of interactions can have eternal ramifications, and yet, we can buy a coffee while never meeting the eyes of the one giving us our change. Better late than never, it is time we realize that there really are no ordinary people and that our love and appreciation of others ought to be more reckless, not because nothing matters, but precisely because we take each other seriously.