At a moments thought we might say yes â€“ yes it is a caring society and yes I do love my neighbour. Who does your neighbour include? It is very easy to love our “respectable” neighbours, but do we have the same capacity of love for our “underprivileged” and not so “well off” neighbours? It’s a lovely idea to have all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics singing in a voice of equality. However the reality is very difficult to achieve. Some wise person once said, “Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind. It requires the same effort of the brain as it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle.
Perhaps if there was more toleration in our society it would be more caring. We live in a so-called “Democratic Society”. We are all created equally. We all have a heart and a brain. But because of some small difference, be it race, religion, sex, colour, moral values or a disability we are not all treated with care or love. Shakespeare once wrote: Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands organs dimensions senses affections passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is?
If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us do we not seek revenge? Very ancient words, forgotten all too soon. For a moment, take your self-aside. Substitute “Jew” with any one of the following words â€“traveller, woman, Negro,disabled person, unemployed person, refugee, underachiever. Now you will get a clear picture of the “Democratic Society” in which we live. Let us think again â€“ substitute “Christian” with your own name. Can we now say our society is caring and we all love our neighbour â€“ no matter who he is or where he’s from?
If you can learn a simple trick you’ll get along better with all kinds of people. You never really know a person until you consider things from their point of view. Until you climb into their skin and walk around in it. ” Harper Lee penned those words nearly half a century ago. Once again ancient words, which have been forgotten, but could help improve our society immensely. We shouldn’t have to climb into our neighbour’s skin to understand him. If we truly loved our neighbour we should be able to look beyond race, religion, sex, colour, moral values, and disability.
Love in its purest form unites rich and poor, nobles and peasants, black men and white men, Catholics and Protestants. Love alone is capable of uniting human beings. Our neighbours do antagonise us at times until very often we can stand it no more. But when it comes down to the hard facts, our neighbours are all that we have. If we only see ourselves in this world it’s going to be a very lonely place. To help us to move towards a more caring society where we do love our neighbour we need the courage to be different and to stand firm in our beliefs. We must evaluate every man with a fair and unbiased conscience.
After all, the one thing that does not abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience. Perhaps when our love has reached its full capacity, Martin Luther King’s dream will become a reality. When we display our love for our neighbour in every village and hamlet, every state and every city then we can let freedom ring. We will be able to speed up the day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics can sit down at the table of brotherhood and be free to live in a caring society, where every man does love his neighbour.