Love Thy Neighbour as Thyself Essay Writing Service

Love Thy Neighbour as Thyself Essay

This famous saying has its origin in the Jewish Commandments, said to be revealed to Moses by the Lord and forming the creed of-the Jews and .the Christians, all those who accept the teaching of the Old Testament. Some of the commandments are negative, as ‘Thou shalt not kill’, and, considering that to avoid is easier than actually doing a thing positively, the Commandment and such others as require on our part the doing of something or the persistent attempt to give a particular turn to our nature must be more difficult to practise. Avoiding too is difficult, but, when all is considered, it requires a less intelligent effort to avoid; but to guide and shape one’s course of life requires understanding, planning and constant watchfulness and acting. One must all the time be on the lookout to be kind and charitable to others and seek occasions when one can prove to one’s own satisfaction that one is not selfish or limited in one’s affections. For, nothing short of this is the meaning of these words and that will show how difficult it is to practise them.

Who is a neighbour as used in this connection? Not certainly the person living next door or living in the next street or in the next town or village. If that were the meaning, the whole purpose of the moral teaching contained in the saying would be defeated. Neighbour’ stands for all mankind, for all who lives, breathe and exist. Love and sympathy, charity and kindness are to be given to all, and not to be limited to one’s family. tribe, race, nation or community. This is, therefore, an idealistic utterance, calling upon us to shed our selfishness, pettiness and partisanship and to make no distinctions. To lose oneself in others and to lead a selfless life, that is its support .

On account of its being an idealistic saying, it is impossible to fully practise it. All that one can do is to realise its true meaning and significance and to put oneself in the way of molding one’s life in accordance with it. This is not a merely prudent saying, calling upon us to do this or that because of some advantage accuring from it to ourselves. There is no consideration of loss or gain entering here. We are not told to· love our neighbour in order that that may make him love us in return or that in that way we will avoid conflicts with others. No such selfish motives enter into it. This is a purely moral and religious attitude, calling upon us to practise a noble ideal in the disinterested spirit of performing a duty, without expecting anything in return. We may even be prepared in practising this for disappointment, scorn and hostility. We must cast our bread upon the waters, according to another noble Christian saying, and, even though we may be left in the minority of one, we must keep the flag of truth and goodness flying. What is advocated is a change of heart, not a show of formal activity. So this love of others, in order to be real, must be sincere, undemonstrative and disinterested.

Posted on February 29, 2016 in Essays

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