Thursday, July 9, 2009

Love Thy Neighbor


It was an early Saturday morning and all I ever wanted was for me to wake up a lot later than usual, it’s a great chance for me to get a good rest from a whole week of overtime at work.

But this great chance was short lived when a startling voice broke the sweet silence surrounding me, “Paaaauuuullll! Diin ka nga bata ka!” I lay in bed shocked wondering where that unearthly voice was coming from. Then there was total silence. So, nonetheless, I went back to sleep again, hoping that the shrieking incident was just an episode and no more.

But before I could kick off into REM mode, there it was again, the same boisterous call that could have woken the entire community!

I felt my face flushed with irritation, I was livid. I scrambled to open the window to see who was making such a raucous but I’ll be damned for thick white smoke from burning dry leaves blew onto my face. “Oh please, spare me!” Sigh.

It was one of those situations that I had to deal with - which brought my attention to one of the two great laws “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.” At first, I literally thought that I should love my next-door neighbors. But as I mature, I understood that they are not just those people living within my community. They are our leaders, officemates, friends, and even our enemies.

Imagine waking up every morning carrying a negative feeling in your heart. Or, whenever you are in the office you have to take that long walk to the canteen just to avoid bumping into someone you technically hate. Life would just be crappy then.

Then there’s another challenge for me … gossiping neighbors. Can’t we all just get along and mind our own business? Is the writing on the wall not clear enough for you to read? We must realize that every individual is different and will not always agree with each other. There will always be arguments.

We should keep in mind that anger can block our ability to love others and even ourselves. More often than not, our anger or grudges are based on misinterpreted information. It clouds our judgment and would lead us to an act of revenge, which most of the time cannot be undone.

Bottom line, we cannot give something that we do not have in the first place. Love ourselves first (not too much that we’ll turn out to be the ones hated). Forgive and be forgiven, understand to be understood, care and be cared for. So it is written, “As a new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

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