Poetry, the Other, and BYU

If there is any homogeneity at BYU, it is a homogeneity that we believe extends well beyond the bounds of the university’s campus to include and encompass the whole world. We believe that we are all children of God, that we have the same Heavenly Father and therefore have an obligation to treat one another with love and respect, or with charity, which is the Christian theological version of Levinas’ philosophical concept of acknowledging the Other. As we charitably and respectfully acknowledge the Other, we can promote tolerance and diversity without our campus community. I learned as a junior in high school that being willing to open one’s heart and one’s mind to that which is unfamiliar or unknown—to the Other— can be incredibly enriching and rewarding. As we embrace the possibilities of our responsibility to the Other, we have the opportunity to learn and grow.

Published in BYU Studies Quarterly 49:2
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