‘Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself’

‘Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’


I was watching the television show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, the other night and Larry David was admonishing an Airline Attendant that would not give him access to the plane he was running to catch, due to the door already being shut.

Larry asked if the Golden Rule did not supersede their Airport Rules?

The Attendant said that it did not.

I witnessed a troublesome problem at my beloved SIU, when I was employed there.

There seemed to be a large beautiful Campus that was full of hard working and dedicated faculty and staff…but they were housed in invisible Silos.

Simply put, if you were a member of the College of Liberal Arts…you really did not concern yourself with the College of Agriculture.

Or, if you were a member of Student Affairs…the condition of Administration…was little to none of your concern.

Sadly, our country has developed our own Silos that house us and shield us from those who may only be moderately different than we are.


I am watching the joy that the Republican Party is having in the passing of their only piece of legislation in 2017.

The leaders exclaim that this is a tax cut for the middle class and that the rich will not benefit.


Senator Lindsey Graham said, prior to the Republican Tax Plan passing, that the donors to the Republican Congress had put them on notice that if they did not produce a new Tax Plan…that the Republican members of Congress need not come back to them for more money.


There are millions of poor and working class and middle class Republicans in this Country.

If you are blessed to have financial resources then you probably feel good about the new Tax Plan…if you are struggling or just getting by…then you probably do not.

When I was a child…in the evening in warm weather…everyone sit out on their front porches…there was little air conditioning.


Neighbors knew each other and each other’s children and cared about them.

There were no smart phones to hide your face in and avoid talking with those sitting next to you.

And, what of our churches?

When someone enters that does not look exactly like the rest of the parishioners…do we stare at them and wonder why their clothes are tattered or perhaps they are gaunt or with the smell that comes from not having daily access to bathing facilities.


Or, do we think of the goodness of Jesus for us and our lovely homes and our full to the brim refrigerators and of the Holiday Revelry that we will partake of.

‘Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask,’ said Scrooge, looking intently at the Spirit’s robe, ‘but I see something strange , and not belonging to yourself, protruding from your skirts.  Is it a foot or a claw?’

‘It might be a claw, for the flesh there is upon it,’  was the Spirit’s sorrowful reply.  ‘Look here.’

‘From the foldings of the robe, it brought two children; wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable.  They knelt down at its’ feet, and clung upon the outside of its’ garment.’

‘Oh, man.  Look here.  Look, look, down here.’  exclaimed the Ghost.

‘They were a boy and a girl.  Yellow, meagre, ragged scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility.  Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its’ freshest tints, a stale and shriveled hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds.  Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing.  No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread.’

‘Scrooge started back, appalled.  Having them shown to him in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but the words choked themselves, rather then be party to a lie of such enormous magnitude.’

‘Spirit.  are they yours?’  Scrooge could say no more.’

‘They are Man’s,’ said the Spirit, looking down upon them.’  And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers.  This boy is Ignorance.  This girl is Want.  Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy.  for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.  Deny it.’  cried the Spirit, stretching out its’ hand towards the city….’   A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens



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