In 2015, Jean Vanier received the Templeton Prize for this work with L’Arche, a non-profit organization that focuses on the needs of persons with intellectual disabilities. In this video, Vanier articulates the answer to the big question: What does it mean to be fully human? Vanier provides us with a deep insight to the uniqueness of the human being, and the beauty we can create when we have discovered who we truly are.
The whole thing with human beings is to learn to love. And to love is not to do things for people, not to tell people what to do. It is to reveal…that you’re important. You might be important in the things you do, but there is something even more important than what you do, it is: WHO YOU ARE. And who you are has something about your heart, by being open to others. A heart that is not filled with fear.
The problem today is that may people are frightened of people, frightened of losing. And because people are filled with fear, they can no longer be open to others…we are all in a state of protection. To be fully human is to let down the barriers. To open up and to discover that every person is beautiful.
Though Vanier is speaking from a religious background, his points are beyond religion. His words are compelling, especially when viewed with artificial intelligence in the background. For what is AI, but an expression of fear? The fear of confronting our physical limitation, of being bested by nature’s design, of accepting our own mistakes?
If we all see Vanier’s point and adopt the view that every person is beautiful, wouldn’t it make sense to create an AI that will maintain and support this beauty?