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A Discriminating Eye

September 27, 2021 (210 words)

It’s funny how some words can fall out of favor, while others acquire a new luster. Acceptance, tolerance, diversity, and love – especially when grouped together like a slogan, as on a button, perhaps – are words we all want to live by these days. Taken together, they deftly capture the spirit of our age.

These four are in stark contrast to a bitter word like discrimination, which is now universally reviled for obvious reasons. To discriminate against someone or something is what any thoughtful, compassionate person wants to avoid like the plague.

But in our earnest quest to avoid all forms of discrimination we have lost an appreciation for what it means to be discriminating. To discriminate may be a blot on one’s character, but to be discriminating is a quality we should all try to cultivate.

A discriminating eye or ear or pallet is the mark of someone who has learned to perceive and appreciate the beauty inherent in the created world, as well as humanity’s attempts to celebrate that beauty via all sorts of artistic expression.

This extends to perceiving and appreciating the special qualities that distinguish each person as a unique creation made in God’s image, endowed with dignity and worthy of being treated with respect.

Robert J. Cavanaugh, Jr
September 27, 2021

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