With the help of parishioners and the local business community in Los Angeles, Greg Boyle has worked to build Homeboy Industries into one of the largest, most comprehensive, and most successful gang intervention, rehabilitation, and reentry programs in the United States. In this audio clip, he discusses the power of going to the margins.
[Interviewer] Is there somebody that stood out over the years where you feel like—and I’m sure you have had thousands—where you really reached and were able to show them their goodness or you had an exchange where you saw that before their eyes?
[Greg Boyle, SJ] Well, again, I don’t operate that way. I don’t think it’s about me reaching into anybody. It’s like, I don’t reach them. I allow them to reach me. I allow myself to be reached by them. Which is a different kind of thing, you know? Because then it’s mutually ennobling, where they discover their own nobility. Otherwise you go to the margins to, rescue people, rather than you go to the margins to find your own rescue. Even terms like, make a difference, you know, everybody loves that term. ‘I just want to make a difference in the world.’ And whenever I hear it I always go, ‘Oh, you know, I hope you’ll get over that,’ because I think it’s not about going to the margins to make a difference. It’s about going to the margins so that the margins and the folks there will make you different.