Article Published in the Botany and Ormiston Times - March 12 2015

Love Thy Neighbour - by Eric Neal

What is commonly known as the ‘Golden Rule’ relates to how we should treat others. Most readers will be familiar with the Christian Bible teaching on this, ‘And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise’.  Luke 6:31.  Another reference along the same lines is found in Matthew 12:31 ‘…. love your neighbour as yourself’

This theme is evident in the teachings of all the major religions, which should give us hope that all spiritually guided people are working towards the same goal of peaceful co-existence with our fellow humans.

The word ‘neighbour’ obviously doesn’t just refer to the person or family that lives next door, although that’s a good place to start.  My dictionary defines neighbour in very broad terms… ‘A fellow human being, esp. as having claims on friendship’. 

So, why is our relationship with our ‘neighbour’ so important?  I guess, at the end of the day, or should I say ‘at the end of our earthly life’, for each individual, this and other spiritual pursuits are the only things that endure; things that we take with us on the next stage of our eternal journey.

Our Maker has provided us with the ability to create and enjoy some earthly pleasures and comforts, and there is nothing wrong with enjoying  these while on the earthly plain, but we should balance this with focusing on the more important and enduring aspects of our existence. The material things that this life offers cannot be compared to the love and respect of another human soul. Love is the foundation of the universe. Cherish it.

- Eric Neal is a member of the Baha'i Faith Community and author of the book 'A Beginner's Guide to God'



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