It is a common flaw of humanity that we fail to realise that we are not alone on our journey through life; due to our entrainment as children and our societal norms we predominantly see ourselves as individuals.
Although we all profess the Christian principles of Brotherhood and Universal Love we don’t really mean it, in fact we often don’t mean it at all!
Think for a moment (don’t worry we don’t have to let anyone else see our dark side) of how often we actually act as if we are all one. Very few of us actually “love our neighbour as ourselves” which, technically means that there are very few, if any, Christians out there.
It’s easy to excuse ourselves by arguing that this ideal is aspirational but how many of us even aspire to treating everyone the same as ourselves? Philosophical questions aside there are other negative spin offs of this aspect of our psyches that are much closer to home. How many of us, I wonder, have ever asked ourselves the following question, and honestly answered it:
“How does my behaviour impact on the health of those around me?”
Nagging wives, churlish husbands, bullying teachers, sycophantic salesmen or pressuring peers, we are all hugely affected by those around us. When we think of this simple truth in relation to our lives it gives us a hint as to the impact that we have on others as well.
Before your next human interface pause and ask yourself “how would I like to be treated in this situation?” and adjust your interaction accordingly.
Afterwards you will notice that the event felt different to prior to the exercise.
Once you have done it once, repeat it, again and again until it becomes a habit. You will have dropped a pebble in the pond of life whose ripples will spread further than your imagination.
This piece was written for Life & Style in 2007 by Rod Briggs. Rod has spent the latter part of his life travelling the world spreading messages of love, kindness and the almost limitless potential for people to make a difference in the world.
He is now at home in Ballito battling the effects of pancreatic cancer but the medical costs are overwhelming. Please consider supporting the fund to help him. You’ll find the details online at https://www.gofundme.com/helprodbriggs