Loving our Enemies

 I posted the following in commemoration of 9/11.  It is pertinent here because its core asks the reader to reflect upon the question as to whether we are our brother’s keeper or whether, instead, existence is only about us, and materialism.

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“Change internally, within each of us, often does not manifest itself immediately but, over time, it will.  September 11, 2001, awakened us to the fact that life is more than the pursuit of expensive cars and homes.  It is more than securing our prestige and our status.  It is more than happiness with our families, in fact.  We have come to understand that we enter this world, alone, and we go out of it, alone. That is what 9/11 forced us to acknowledge. So what have we done with our deepened consciousness?  How have we related, and how will we yet relate, to one another, including our enemies?

We are in the process of becoming, not only in America, but in this world.  It appears that the world’s people are evolving somewhat more quickly than are Americans, at this point in time.  The German Chancellor has taken multitudes of refugees into her nation.  Other nations have done the same.  Yet, here in America, some governors have been maneuvering to keep their state’s limit of refugees as low as possible.  Americans, as I see it, have been in the wilderness of undue self-interest for almost a half-century. Perhaps, with the emerging generosity of others in the world to those less fortunate than themselves, Americans, also, will recognize that we are all one, both in our nation and in our world.

Mahatma Gandhi had said, ” ‘An eye for an eye’ will only make all of us blind.” Spiritual leaders of all religions have long understood that only love can overcome hate, anger, and selfishness to create peace for all. People throughout our nation and world must finally acknowledge this spiritual truth if we are to survive on this planet.  That means we must care for our neighbors as ourselves. 9/11 awakened us to that spiritual truth. Now, we must let that truth further evolve in our souls, and emerge – sooner than later – outward to the reality of the living world, day in and day out.  Difficult as it often is, we must learn to love our enemies.  They are one with us – equal human beings, capable of both good and evil.”

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4 Responses to Loving our Enemies

  1. What we most need is not love but rather reason.
    People should pursue their self-interest, but need to make sure they understand what is truly in their self-interest.
    Overemphasis on whether and how much to help others distorts moral thinking.

    • The words below by St. Paul are the best of moral thinking, given to the world, in my opinion. I would like to share his thoughts with you and with my readers:

      I Corinthians 13, 1 – 13:

      “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. . . Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

      When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
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      In addition, below are some words I posted today on an Atlanta Journal-Constitution blog, which I believe are relevant, also, here:

      “It seems to me that love, if it is love and not some kind of temporary, earthbound infatuation (such as love of money and/or power), will multiply, not divide, in its vision. That is what real love does for one’s soul. Not “me, mine vs. you, yours,” but love of all mankind, of all nature, of God, who is within every soul, if we could only see, with eyes and hearts that multiply, not divide. It appears to me that often some conservatives have a penchant for dividing (which is judgment, not love) even among their own.

      The Whigs – the old traditional, royalist-type conservative party – who were the political opposites of Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican political party, became obsolete, in their day.

      The heart and soul of man must expand, never shrink.”

      • dbm1fromjaybookmansblog says:

        If I have love but not reason, I will blunder around and will probably fail.

        A child may have an excuse for emphasizing love over reason, but the adult approach is to be guided by reason.

  2. I try not to think simply in dichotomies (which can lead to stereotypical thinking if one is not careful) but in degrees, and I often seek to combine seeming paradoxes, which can work together in harmony, if one stretches one’s thinking and imagination. One may have both love and reason. I do not deny the importance of reason, but neither do I deny the importance of love. They work in harmony in the best of circumstances.

    A person on the “Get Schooled” blog just asked me if I cared about students who cannot afford to go to private schools but who have ability and promise. Here was my response, which applies to our conversation:

    “I care about every child equally. I try to look at the whole of public education in Georgia, not just part of it. I, also, believe in an integrated society and in an integrated world where we are all one, and all equal children of God. We must model that vision in both our communities and our schools if we are ever to achieve that end.

    As I often write, as something in which I believe metaphysically and spiritually, and which I try to live out in reality: Love, in its deepest form, multiplies and expands; it never divides and shrinks.”

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