Bright Ideas: Love Your Neighbor
Bright Ideas: Tips for Positive Thinking and Personal Growth
Bright Idea: Love Your Neighbor
Recently, I was asked to create a virtual chapel lesson for a partnering preschool that is very near and dear to my heart. The topic? Love your neighbor. I’ll say it again, Love your neighbor. Those three words together are quite profound, especially in the state of our world today. I’ve built a career around loving my neighbor, accepting those that are different and teaching others to do the same. But here’s the thing, there are endless ways to love your neighbor. First, you must love yourself.
In our current world, it often seems the more we try to love one another, the more we are met with the harsh realities of our differences. Our differences should be celebrated. There should be a national holiday in which we honor our differences – seriously. Love Your Neighbor Day, anyone? I look into the eyes of the children we serve, I think of past students who I now consider extended family and I am so filled with love and pride that they are different. Their differences may at times create obstacles, but those obstacles often turn into opportunities to view life a little differently.
I think of a child in our program who masters his own challenges daily and recently had a new student join his class. In his role as “Friend of the Week” he has the opportunity to choose friends to sit with during snack and lunch. He could have asked any of his classmates to sit with him, but he chose to ask the new student on his first day at school. He loved his neighbor, old and new. His own differences did not get in the way. He simply loved his neighbor.
Life would be pretty boring if we were all the same. Our differences challenge us to see things from a different perspective. Have compassion for differences you don’t understand, and maybe try a little harder to understand them. Don’t be afraid to show kindness to strangers, the world needs a little more of that. Go and love your neighbor, today.
Mary Rose White