Discussion: Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself
September 18, 2020
On the motivational speaking circuits and in self-help books that populate multiple aisles in brick and mortar stores and even online we listen, read and learn... we are what we think! It’s all around us and we receive it in a multitude of ways: in church, in conversations and even relationships. But do we put serious thought to what is being expressed and how we react to it? What is a thought? Dictionary meaning: To conceive in the mind, to consider, judgment, opinion, or belief. With what is currently happening around the world, it’s almost a requirement for us to stop and think. We faced an isolation imposed by closing businesses and schools for varying lengths of time depending on where you lived. We find ourselves having to make decisions we never thought of making in our lifetime. For many, our decisions had to include our spouses, children, parents and many others around us.
Decisions were made, requiring us to suspend almost everything momentarily while the world regrouped. Helplessly we watched the financial effect on the masses, devastating businesses and home life. We’ve had to make personal decisions guided by the mandate of our government. How we handled these directives bought forth what we were made of over the years. Our upbringing, our principles and life’s lessons rolled together for each of us to figure the direction we would pursue. Our dominate behavior emerged as we struggled to keep standing. Good Samaritans popped up around the world. Super heroes are no longer figures in movies and comics, but doctors, nurses, first responders and volunteers.
This discussion concerns self and how we think and act under pressure. That part of us that manifest when there’s no one else around. That part we keep concealed for reasons we ourselves don’t fully understand. That one individual we have total control over… Self. If someone spits on you, your response comes from deep within determining if you are going to spit on them, hit them or just laugh and walk away. I realize there are times our response will be an automatic, nevertheless that response emerges from our inner programming.
For a while the Stay-at-Home implementation gave us time to spend with each other. No work, no school and the opportunity for mental and physical rest and refreshment. The reasons unquestionably weren’t favorable, but presented us with a time to pull it together. Statistics has shown this hasn’t been that way for most. Domestic violence doubling in numbers from the same month of past year (example: May 2019 and May 2020). The isolation weighted on victims of domestic violence, with the abuser and the one being abused both feeling trapped.
Teenage runaways increased. Was it because of an already toxic living environment of physical, emotional and mental abuses? With school closings, children and young adults no longer had a daily temporary haven. Per Samantha Schmidt and Hannah Natanson of the Washington Post, “In a world without school… no one is there to watch, to speak up, until it is too late.” This added stress in a household heightens the negative behavior. However, nothing should cause one to live in a toxic environment of physical, emotional and mental abuses as human beings.
Aristotle said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without acting on it.”
Epictetus stated, “Men are disturbed not by things but by the view which they take of them.”
There is a commandment, not a suggestion to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” How I love me, is how I should love you. Hummmm, let’s think of loving you as I love me… the love I express outward should come from how I love myself. There are so many songs on love… “What the world need now is love, sweet love”. We hear love for one another being preached from the pulpits on Sundays. This to me is some of the saddest sermons that come from the pulpit… to tell Christians to love one another. I know we have “new” Christians, true. We know most of the time it is not the new Christians that the sermons are being directed to. The world broadcasts every day the absent of love of self by our actions.
What is it that is frightening us, regarding us? Why do we allow outside matters to rule our choice within to react negatively? The voices in our head causing one to lift their hand against the one they vowed to love and cherish. How do you beat a child you birthed into the world until he or she passes out? A living, breathing person who is your own flesh and blood. What are your thoughts as you carry out these senseless actions? What kind of love do you have for yourself to allow alcohol and/or drugs to rule and destroy your body and mind? The sobering thought here is that, most people unfortunately do love their neighbor as they love their self!
Thank you for joining me for Friday at Sundown. Remember… Just Breathe!
Special Note: Per the National Council of Aging (NCOA) reports… Approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse. Some estimates range as high as 5 million elders who are abused each year. One study estimated that only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported to authorities. Abusers are both women and men. In almost 60% of elderly abuse and neglect incidents, the perpetrator is a family member. Two-thirds of perpetrators are adult children or spouses. GOD, please help us all!
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