“ … I begin to look at reality as a friend, every circumstance as a friend, and whoever enters my horizon,regardless of the intentions with which she or he does it,right or wrong,sets me in motion.If each of us does not respond to this, life passes by for us without achieving the goal for which it exists,that is,making us become ever more ourselves … If we do not understand this,we defend ourselves.What do we most defend ourselves from? From what can most challenge us: the “you” of the other. So why do we often have this “monarchical” conception? Because the other asks me for things and it would be better if he did not exist. This conception is very difficult to challenge. It is a mistaken conception of the “I”: I think I can say “I” without saying “you,” and I defend myself from the other instead of acknowledging, as often happens (if we are honest) that if we sit down together around a table, a whole lot more ideas emerge than if I were on my own. So then, we see that the other is a decisive point, and gives me something worth my while, and that defending myself from this other is stupid. The other is not something to avoid, to keep at a distance because he or she is a bother.On the contrary, I begin to see the other as someone who can make a contribution to my work, to what I want to build. The other can contribute only if I give him or her space to do it.You can see what conception you hold with a very simple question: Do you defend yourself from others or do you honor them as a good and a resource? In answering, you will understand right away what conception you have of your “I.” Life is simple, because in every thing in which we are in relationship, we demonstrate to ourselves whether the other is part of the modality with which I say “I” or whether the other is extrinsic and juxtaposed to my “I.” The “I” is conceived of as relationship or as isolation. This is the great challenge.”
Fr. Julian Carron “The Diversity of a Work” June, 2012. pp. vi-vii.