Michelangelo, the renowned 16th century artist, once described the task of a sculptor as that of discovering a form already hidden in the stone. He described the task not as creating something entirely new, but as revealing a potential already innate in the raw material. What would happen if parents and educators were to see their role in the formation of children in a similar way, helping children to discover and then cultivate their innate gifts and talents? What if each of us accepted as a sacred responsibility the uncovering of potential and the revealing of beauty, first in ourselves and then in those around us? If we really believe that God made every person “very good” as the Book of Genesis tells us, how might we respond to the different gifts in those around us? Valuing our differences might be one way—a way accessible to everybody—of easing the painful racial tensions in our country today.
By Delores Dufner, OSB