THE SAME TREE.
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1. We believe in the fundamental principle of affirming the equal dignity of each Person and of all People. This equality is absolute and unconditional, as is the value of life. Under no circumstances can it be taken away from anyone, and whenever it is under attack it must be rejected without hesitation. But above all, attacking life or wounding the dignity of any person concerns me, touches me. Therefore, we are called to action to defend life and to promote and restore human dignity. We are branches of the same tree.
2. We recognize human diversity as a gift. We believe that the wealth created by ethnic, cultural, political or religious diversity is a force that should unite us. But at the same time, we must not forget that we share one same nature transcending our diferences. We believe in unity in diversity. We are branches of the same tree.
Don't talk to me about Portuguese or Americans. Tell me about João and Teresa, Susan and Mary.
3. We are aware of the danger of creating lines that separate us, categories that label us or stereotypes that inhabit us. We avoid categorizing people into a "single story", based on the grouping we´ve placed them in. We want to be always open to the richness in each human temple. Don't talk to me about Portuguese or Americans. Tell me about João and Teresa, Susan and Mary..
4. We reject any expression of Manichaeism in the labeling of large human groups, classifying some as "good" and others as "bad". Any generalization of a quality or defect and associating it with a collective identity, is wrong. Don't talk to me about Portuguese or Americans. Tell me about João and Teresa, Susan and Mary.
5. We believe that each person can simultaneously belong and have autonomy. We are of multiple belongings and we have our autonomy under construction. It is from these interconnections that our individuality develops, albeit within a community. Don't talk to me about Portuguese or Americans. Tell me about João and Teresa, Susan and Mary.
6. We maintain that all visions that crystallize the definition of a person's character, even from something wrong the person has done, can be deceiving. We are beings in permanent evolution empowered to make the good within us flourish. And none of us can eliminate the risk of making mistakes. The line that separates good from evil is drawn in the heart of each one of us.
7. We recognize complexity and we doubt. We know that very often what seems to be is not and that rarely there is only just one truth. Therefore, we must delay in judging and even more in condemning. We seek understanding as fully as possible and can never forget that we are all made of light and shadow. The line that separates good from evil is drawn in the heart of each one of us.
We do not want to be judged by our skin color, but by our character.
8. We maintain that no one can be judged, nor can their rights and duties be minimized or abolished, by virtue of belonging to any ethnic, political, religious or cultural group. No difference can diminish us. We do not want to be judged by our skin colour, but by our character.
9. We believe in the principle of equity. We recognise that there are structural and individual inequalities which must be taken into account and eradicated, creating all the necessary conditions for true and complete equality of opportunity for all. We do not want to be judged by our skin colour, but by our character.
10. We believe that the freedom of each person is sacred. We maintain that no adversity should take away one´s conviction of being "master of one´s destiny / captain of one´s soul". But with that freedom comes responsibility of what we do and what we decide to ignore. We don't want to be judged by our skin colour, but by our character.
We need to learn to love.
11. We reject any expression of hatred and violence as the driving force of social transformation. Hate dehumanizes us and makes us look at the "other" in the category of the "enemy", and therefore, less human. We do not believe that any lasting good is born out of violence. Only active non-violence, motivated by love and respect even towards our adversaries, can bring about a just and sustainable change. We need to learn to love.
12. We do not ignore the world´s inherited wounds from offenses to human dignity. From slavery to anti-semitism, from persecution for political, religious or ideological reasons to racism, from gender violence to discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, among others. We have a heavy inheritance and in some cases,it is still present among us. We need to be aware that there is still a long way to go. Only when we discover in each person a brother, equal in dignity and a partner in building a common future can we grow in humanity. We need to learn to love.