President of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity and author of Night (Hill and Wang)
Is it at all possible to live without a spiritual quest? Of course it is—theoretically. Under the two totalitarian dictatorships that plagued the 20th century, Fascism and Communism, politics replaced spirituality. But lest we forget: Both collapsed. Can one be spiritual without religious faith? One can. All one needs is to be open to someone else's concerns, fears, and hopes, and to make him or her feel less alone, less abandoned. God alone is alone. Human beings are not, must not be. It is my caring for the otherness of the other that determines my humanity. And my spirituality.
Looking past divisive politics and differing views to the person on the other side of the issue may be challenging, but it's not impossible. Elizabeth Lesser, cofounder of the Omega Institute and author of Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow, suggests starting with lunch.
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