A Friend and I were recently talking about the Amish and Mennonite community, who he described as writing their poetry with the fine works of their hands, rather than with words as he and I do, which I thought was a truly beautiful perspective. I wandered down the path of this perspective, as I am wont to do, and I realized how this is true for most of us, if lyricism or writing, painting and photography are not the gifts to hand. We make our mark on this world, in big and small ways, in lasting ways we little realize, with our words, with our smiles, with our choices, with our convictions, and with our compassion.
As most of you are probably aware, I am Christian by Faith, but I also think outside, above, and on many other sides of the box. I agree with and admire many other philosophies and forms of spiritualism who revere all living creatures and live harmoniously in this world. This appeals to me a great deal and I think this is what Jesus meant when He said “Love your Neighbor as Yourself”. Yet the longer I think about this and wander down the path of musing, I am forced to consider, just who is my neighbor?
Is it the old woman living next door? Is it the young child that runs around in Walmart that others scowl at for making too much noise? Is it the overly obese woman no one wants to look at because society tells us she is ugly and unworthy? Is it the old man with little of his teeth who is standing on the corner with a tin cup hoping for a few coins so he can eat something today? Is it the child whose parents neglect and abuse because they are more interested in drugs? Or is it those same parents? Is it the person of a different nationality than my own whom I cannot understand on the other end of the telephone line who is trying to help me? Is it the young man on a skateboard with his pants half way to his knees and his hat on sideways who I simply cannot relate to? Is it the “crazy” old lady in the mall who is talking to the bench she is sitting on because no one else will talk to her?
Is it the dog that is left to starve because its owners have decided they are tired of it? Is it the cat that is crying on the doorstep because it is cold and hungry? Is it the dolphins being slaughtered by the thousands in Japan? Is it the rhinos being slaughtered in Africa to the point of extinction? Is it the bird I accidentally hit while driving to work or the ants on my porch in the summertime? Is it the Tree that has been growing for hundreds of years that we cut down to make paper that we use to print signs that say Save the Trees? Is it the rivers, lakes and oceans into which toxins and trash are being dumped by the ton?
In my humble opinion: We are All Neighbors in this Living Temple named Earth. Each life, each breath, each rock, each tree, each grain of sand, regardless of colour, creed, nationality, Ancestry (which could possibly make us more related than we think!), fur, scales, 2-4-6-or 8 legs; whether we’ve been here 1 minute or 1000 years. If we Love our Neighbors as we love ourselves, care for and protect, serve and trust, would not this fearsome, calamitous world become a truly harmonious paradise, where the Lion would indeed lie down with the lamb?
Beautiful Image found at: beinspirednow.com