In My Child’s World: Loving Neighbors

A friend recently asked me, “If there is one advice you can give the world to change it, what would it be?”

Without hesitation I replied, “Love thy neighbor as thyself”.

As a species we seem to be obsessed with making everybody around us see things the way we see it. There seems to be a major fear of not belonging to a community. This fear is quite justified.

From the earliest times we have seen people being burnt at the stake, crucified, stoned and what not, and all this for just looking at things differently from the general populace. This fear goads us into debating, arguing, and in general using every coercive method we know to ensure that there are as many people who are like us as possible.

Our first Civics lesson is school tells us that man is a social animal. However, what it doesn’t tell us is that man will kill people outside his society. He needn’t have a reason for that killing; all it needs is for the victim to be outside the accepted society that we live in.

So it is okay for a Christian to kill a man of another faith.
So it is okay for an Indian to kill a man from another country.
So it is okay for a German to kill a Jew.

From childhood these fears are ingrained into us. Whites fear the blacks, Hindus fear the Muslims, Catholics fear the Protestants, Indians fear the Pakistanis, and the list goes on and on and on.

In my child’s world, people will accept each other as individuals, for what they are. Nobody will be judged by the faith, color, and status in life or for that matter anything. A human life will be respected because it is a human life, not because of the color of the skin.

If I can avoid passing on my fears and hatreds to my children I will consider myself a successful father. However, if I pass on even one of my fears or hatreds to them, I will be a total, miserable failure.

Note: This is part of a series I plan to keep writing. It will focus on how I would like my child’s world to be. The first in the series was “Respect for Life”. This series will be identified by the prefix “In My Child’s World” to the title.


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