Vanier on the Throwaway Culture vs. a Culture of Encounter and Relationship

Watch Jean Vanier explore the real nature of freedom, authenticity, solidarity, encounter, joy, and love. He addresses the throwaway culture, rooted in our obsession with individual success and power, and explains that we too often forget that we are part of one human family. And he discusses the importance of establishing a culture of encounter—getting close to people who have been rejected and breaking down the wall that separates the rich and the poor.


How Jean Vanier Learned What Love is All About


Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche movement, a global community that accompanies and supports those with intellectual disabilities, shares his revelations of love in his latest video message for the Boston College community and beyond. He talks about the road to peace and unity and how he learned what love is all about. He explains why the tyranny of normality has to change to discover the beauty of every person and that what is deepest in each human being is the capacity to love.


10 Rules for Life by Jean Vanier

Jean Vanier, an advocate for people with developmental disabilities who founded L’Arche, an international network of residential communities that champion the rights of their residents, offers his 10 rules for life:

  1. Accept the reality of your body
  2. Talk about your emotions and difficulties
  3. Don’t be afraid of not being successful
  4. In a relationship, take the time to ask: “How are you?”
  5. Stop looking at your phone. Be present!
  6. Ask people: “What is your story?”
  7. Be aware of your own story
  8. Stop prejudice: meet people
  9. Listen to your deepest desire and follow it
  10. Remember that you will die one day




Jean Vanier, Founder of L’Arche, Wins Templeton Prize

via RNS:

Jean Vanier, an advocate for people with developmental disabilities who helped create an international network of residential communities that champion the rights of their residents, has won the 2015 Templeton Prize.

A Roman Catholic layman and a lifelong student of philosophy and theology, Vanier is best known as the founder of L’Arche, French for the Ark, a global network of communities where those with and without disabilities live side by side as equals.

In a statement at a news conference in London, Vanier, 86, said those with intellectual disabilities offer spiritual lessons and gifts to a world too driven by success and power.

“They are essentially people of the heart,” he said. “When they meet others they do not have a hidden agenda for power or for success. Their cry, their fundamental cry, is for a relationship, a meeting heart to heart. It is this meeting that awakens them, opens them up to life, and calls them forth to love in great simplicity, freedom and openness.

“When those ingrained in a culture of winning and of individual success really meet them, and enter into friendship with them, something amazing and wonderful happens. They too are opened up to love and even to God. They are changed at a very deep level. They are transformed and become more fundamentally human.”