“Be Good to Your Neighbor” is the gold standard for evaluating one’s behavior toward others. There is no more exacting or ready lens for viewing two key questions, “Who Am I”? and “What is my purpose”? The inner awareness needed to remember these questions and use them to guide one’s words and actions, require that one make effort to take the perspective of the other. My effort to see and feel the world as the other does is essential to receiving an objective glimpse of my own feelings and behavior, including aspects of self I like to pretend are not me. It seems like a paradox, but complete acceptance of all that I am is the only way I can have a truly non-prejudiced acceptance of my neighbor. Indeed, inner awareness might be the primary catalyst to practicing kindness and sacrificial love for my neighbor. Was Christ aware of this seeming paradox when he said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself”? Doesn’t the life and teaching of Christ show that to be good to your neighbor requires something beyond your own ability? Is it possible the essential benefit of being good to my neighbor is the reminder there is a love bigger than either person? Next time you have a desire to be good to your neighbor, can you receive awareness that something bigger than either of you has a balance in your favor? Moments of such awareness are fleeting and take practice to receive. Braveability’s purpose is to assist people to desire the difference that comes through these subtle, nearly imperceptible impressions, and through such awareness to discover the love that has always known them.
Posts in this category explore connections between one’s view of others and one’s developing understanding of identity and purpose in life.