Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle
This book was written by a Jesuit priest and the founder of Homeboy Industries, an organization that helps gang members find employment and gain life skills. Father Boyle detailed his experiences with Hispanic gang members in Los Angeles and how he still showed them unconditional love, regardless of their past and chosen lifestyle.
My favorite chapter was the one on Kinship. One story in particular was quite moving. A gang member that was working at Father Boyle's silkscreen factory was gunned down and while at the morgue, the mortician questioned Father Boyle's observation that the dead gang member was a good man. And it made me realize that we tend to devalue other human lives when they are different from our own. I have come to believe that each person is a living, breathing human being, and if we applied Father Boyle's (and ultimately Jesus' lessons) on Kinship to everyone around us, we can build a community based on love and acceptance of every single human being that we meet in life.
No one person's life is more, or less valuable than another's - each person has a soul and is beautiful in its own right. No matter the choices they have made and the lifestyle they have chosen, everyone has a chance at redemption, even somebody such as myself. I just have to believe in it and live it, one day at a time.Purchase The Book