The Participatory Self

By coming to understand ourselves as social beings, liberals may come to see forms of participation such as social justice work not simply as a choice we make (or do not make) as individuals but as a fundamental factor in the formation of our own identities.  In other words, we must think of social justice work not simply as something we do, but as part of who we are.  If I cannot see myself in solidarity with others whose circumstances are different from my own, then something is missing from my own identity.  My sense of self is incomplete.  In this self-help oriented culture, we often feel the need to attend to our own well-being before we can reach out to someone else.  But the idea of participation can remind us that our own well-being is deeply connected to the well-being of others and that we can be healed only when there is healing, and justice, for others as well.

Rev. Dr. Paul Rasor, Faith Without Certainty: Liberal Theology in the 21st Century, p. 104

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