Love Thy Neighbor
And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:31)
This simple principle is one of the most important things that this world lacks. All of us need to be loved and we all have it in a great abundance to provide. We humans are endless wells of compassion and love. Giving it only makes more of it and in no way diminishes who we are. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true of us humans. Our capacity to hate is as powerful and as endless as our capacity to love. But unlike love, hate diminishes us. It strips us of the core and most important things that we are. Hate destroys and offers no benefit to us.
This concept describes a “reciprocal”, or “two-way”, relationship between one’s self and others that involves both sides equally, and in a mutual fashion
This is an ideal that our country was founded on. Written in our earliest and most central part of our history is the concept that all people are equal. But this equality requires that we offer love and acceptance rather then hate and judgement.
Kidder notes that this concept’s framework appears prominently in many religions, including “Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and the rest of the world’s major religions”. According to Greg M. Epstein, “ ’do unto others’ … is a concept that essentially no religion misses entirely.”
Does it not mean something that all the great minds in history and all the religions through out history have put this idea at the heart of human life? It is a central and universal truth.
But so often the love principle is not easy to actually live up to.
It is hard to forgive when someone has done you wrong. It is hard to hate the murderer and the child abuser. I am no different then any of you. I too struggle with my judgments and my hate. But one thing that working in psychology has taught me is that humans are complex creatures. Most of the people that have done terrible things to other people were first victims themselves. This does not excuse them of their crimes. But it is important to know that the most powerful way that we can prevent further hate and cruelty is to protect one another from it. If we judge and hate, we only plant the seeds for the same. But if we offer love, we put forward the chance that more love shall bloom.
it is a law, not just a nice idea.
Pounding that into generation after generation of children may not have guaranteed that everyone would fulfill it perfectly, but increased the odds of its practical implementation in everyday life in ways those merely echoing the platitudes could never approach.
We as parents have the most profound effects upon our children. It is not enough to speak to them of love. Words are hollow when compared to the power of demonstration. If you want your children to love, you must love them and demonstrate kindness in your everyday living.
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them (1 Nephi 3:7).
Offering love is completely possible. This is not a law that has been laid before us to lay us low or crush us with impossibility. It is a law that is laid before us as a promise and a road that can be walked upon. Straying from this path does not bar you from returning to it. Today is the only day that matters. Make to today one of kindness and love.