Have You Loved Your Neighbor Today?

It has been a while since I have written a ‘passionate’ Note about my thoughts of the goings on in the world.  Over the last month a few people have asked me what caused my loss of ‘idealism’ and lack of stance on issues I used to shout about from my soap box.  I write this note today to state that my quiet has not been caused by a lack of ‘Idealism’.  I silenced my voice because I have found that when you LISTEN and observe you learn far more than you do shouting your ideals from the rooftops.   

In this note I write about a few of the things I have learned over the last few years and I welcome any criticisms of my thoughts or views because one of the main things I have learned in the last few years is that for everything I ‘know’ there are many things out there that prove my knowledge is no more, in some circumstances, than an illusion cast upon the horizon by the blocks I have chosen to build my world upon.

1.  The first topic I will speak of is “Why in the world do we think we are Smarter than and Know more than everybody else.

        Not a day goes by that I do not speak to someone that says “I hate people. Everyone is so stupid and think they know everything.”   Where does this come from?  Why do we think that we are right in everything we do and those around us are so wrong.   One of the main reasons I stopped going to parties, bars and other social functions it because I grew weary of the constant judgments’ being thrown around by one person against the life style of another.

      How many times have you seen a person, concerned with fashion, point and laugh at someone who chose to walk through the mall in sweat pants?   How many times have you seen a person, who cares not for fashion, point at those who do and call them materialistic, annoying, and closed minded?    Why is it so insulting for an intellectual to be forced to converse with someone who cares not for academics?  Why do those who care only for Sports and the Entertainment world feel the need to laugh at and belittle those who spend their days with their noses shut up in a book.

    All of us came into the world the same way.  Once we arrived our individual personalities mixed with our environments and created the people we have become.  I have a bubbly carefree personality.  I could just have easily developed the happy Cheerleader type of personality instead of my idealistic Save The World one.   My environment steered me to where I am which is why I remind myself daily that just because I don’t like anthers take on life does not mean they are wrong or living their life in an incorrect manner.    I may disagree with Trump Supporters, but that does not mean I have the right to look down my nose at the people that support him.   Instead I state why I disagree and listen to learn why they support him.  

2.  My second thought relates to #1 in that I have grown frustrated with people that judge others place and decisions in life.   It has become very popular to judge druggies, strippers, prostitutes, and other people of similar lifestyles as being ‘less than human.’   Many people I know speak about such people saying “I never would have done something like that.”   “Well I would not have made that decision.” “ They are lazy and want the easy way in life that is why they are like that.”

   Why do we think we can state that “we would never” when we have not been in that persons shoes?  Sure you may have had a life circumstance similar to theirs and ended up better than they did but the fact still remains that YOU DID NOT LIVE THEIR LIFE.   Something happened in your life that led to making healthier choices.  You cannot say with Absolute certainty that you would not have made the same decisions in the same circumstances because you have experienced different things in life than they did.  You have a different personality than they do.  Rather than sticking up your nose at them why don’t you show them some compassion and human Love.   You don’t have to like them, or agree with their choices, but setting yourself apart as smarter and better, to me, is a bigger sin / worse personality trait than that of someone who gives into drugs and sex in order to find a way or ‘bandaging’ their soul.

3.  Why do we insist on blaming others for our problems?

         It is a common theme to blame the government, corporations, and the 1% for our problems but the fact of the matter is nothing in life is guaranteed except death.    There are major issues in the world today, I do not argue that.  Two grownups working full time at minimum wage jobs cannot make enough money to support themselves and their family.  The world is such that two adults can support their family better living on welfare than they can working full time.   That is a problem but it is NOT the governments fault.  It is not the fault of corporations.  It is not the fault of the 1%.   It is our fault.  We The People in our want to live the “American Dream” have created a world in which materialistic pleasures and comforts created a life that we cannot sustain.   We wanted the freedom of cars, the seclusion of owning our own homes, the ease of Fast Food, stores such as Walmart where we could do all of our shopping in one place.  All of this led to us now needing a Car to drive to work and buy our groceries because all the necessities we need are miles away.  Our falling into the Two Party System trap and not paying attention to who funds political parties got us into this mess.

     The world we have WE created out of our own selfish needs.  If we want it to make it better we are the ones that must reach out to our communities and make community gardens.  We must connect with others and form carpools.  We must work within our city governments to create public transportation.   

     When we are poor it is easy to blame the rich.  Yet I know a few people who, once they made it out of poverty, did not want to give their money to charities that help people in similar situations to what they had been in, because they did not want to lose the security they had.   As selfish as that makes them look I cannot blame them.   If they worked themselves to the bone to make it to where they are who am I to deny them the materialistic comforts they can now afford.     We want to live in a free country where we can make our fortunes.  Why do we then become angry at those who made a fortune for not sharing it with us.  

    I am not saying that I do not think people should not contribute their wealth to help build their own communities. I think everyone has an obligation to. But that is my own belief. There is no law that says they must.  If there was we would not be in a free and democratic nation.    We cannot have our cake and the Eat Someone Else’s because they are better chef’s than we.

4.  Our country needs to stop creating band aid programs.    We are angry at the government for not helping us when we are down and yet we abuse those programs.  

    I know many MANY people that lost their jobs and decided to wait out the entire year and a half of unemployment they received from the government because, In the words of one of my foster moms, “I spent my life working while lazy people kept popping out kids so that they could live off of welfare and food stamps. It is about time I got some of my own tax money back in a way that helps me.

   Why! Why do the wealthy think that they are justified in using up the Unemployment because they are upset that the poor have used welfare.   In my mind those who use welfare so that they do not have to work are just as bad as those who use Unemployment.  

   I could go on about this subject forever but it would be pointless.  What I will say is that I do not understand why we yell at our government for these programs and yet deny our government the ability to make them work in a better and more effective way.  Many politicians from both sides have come forward with ideas such as letting those who cannot find work receive government assistance as long as they are also working within the community at that time.  One idea brought  forward recently was that if you need government assistance you can have it as long as you are helping clean highways, or do janitorial work and such in government buildings.   In our country right now our roads are falling apart, our government buildings (including schools) are in need of repair.  If I needed government assistance I would gladly work on something my community required help with while I looked for employment in my field on the side.

5.  Stop Judging Other People’s Parenting.   Since becoming a mother I have constantly found myself in the middle of conversations where someone brings up an individual child’s behavior and blames the child’s parents’ parenting styles.  I am tired of being drug into these conversations for the following reasons.

      1. The child’s behavior may not be the parents fault due to some type of disorder, such as Autism, that the child may have.

     2. Parents today are not allowed to raise their own children.  Most kids from age 6 weeks on spends 9+ hours  of their day in a daycare or school school where they are learning their behaviors from other children and (sometimes) cranky ill trained teachers.   When the children come home from school the parents, tired from work, are making dinner, dealing with basic life chores and responsibilities, and trying to make sure all of their children’s hygiene and school needs are met.  On top of all those things they are also trying, in the minimal amount of time they are given, to teach their children manners and morals.  

     The fact of the matter is that we have created a world in which parents are being denied the right to raise their own children.   Those who choose options such as staying at home when the children are young or homeschooling have found a way to work on the moral and behavioral aspects of raising a child but they then short change their children in denying them the resources necessary to ‘fit in’ with their own peer group.

    3. In the cases where the parents truly are bad, neglectful and abusive, parents it is our job to reach out a helping hand to those children.  It takes a village to raise a child.  If their parents do not show them love and compassion stop judging the child and HELP THEM.  Mentor them, talk to them. Stop hating and removing yourselves from the children that require and need the most love.

   If you can’t help the children try to help the parent.  Offer them friendship, find them friends and mentors.  Find out what the cause of their issues are and see if you can get them help from community resources.

Whatever the reason is that that Parent is “not doing their job” and the child is a “bad child” show both that parent and child love and compassion. By judging them you are effectively shunning them and cutting them off from the community. By cutting them off from ‘healthy’ people and human relationships you are dooming them to continue living their ‘unhealthy lifestyle’ and the cycle will continue.

6. Your career and education do not make you any better than anyone else.

Somehow we went from the 90’s, where arrogant know it all’s such as the main character Fraser in the TV show Fraser we comic, to today where  being smarter and richer than everyone around you made you a human being to be listened to.

     Today people ignore the basic rules of humanity such as kindness and love in order to cut a friend down with superior knowledge of a subject.   People judge others worth as friends by the car they drive and the school they went to.     

      One of the main reasons I have become silent over the years is that I was tired of intellectuals becoming my friend because, in their words, “you know what I am talking about. People today are so ignorant.”   Being an intellectual, doubting and mocking all others has become the new fad.

     As much as I would like to go into all of the points for why being “smarter than someone” is a ridiculous and loathsome fad I have decide that doing so would be hypocritical. 

      One of the smartest, well read individuals I have ever met was a high school dropout.  Despite her lack of formal education Catherine, who did not have a form of Autism or other disorder, knew more about politics, English literature, and the laws of our government and world governments than many of the “intellectuals” I have known.    Do you know what attracted me to her.  Despite my love of knowledge her brain is not what made me form a friendship with her.   What attracted me to Catherine was her LOVE for all others.   Catherine has confided in me many times her frustration at understanding people that do not use their minds or brains. What makes her different than the other intellectuals I know is she does not look down her nose in frustration at those that know less than her.  Instead she loves them and gets to know them.  She is kind and helpful to them and says she has learned that “you can learn anything from anyone, no matter how annoying they can be.”

I will end this note by stating that after listening to those around me what I have learned is that what the world needs more than anything at this moment is for people to re learn how to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.  Stop judging others and separating yourself from those who are different than you.   

     All of us are guaranteed one thing in life, that that we will live one moment and die the next.   Take responsibility for yourself,  love your neighbor, build your community, and stop hating those you don’t and never will  understand.  They can’t understand you either.

Published by lifefromtheashes5332

Hi, I’m Elizabeth. I am a wife, mother, gardener, adjunct professor, philosopher, former foster child, former homeless adult and Master in Social Work. My website covers all the things listed above!

2 thoughts on “Have You Loved Your Neighbor Today?

  1. Great post! I’ll admit that I do some of things depending on my state of mind though that doesn’t make it correct. I mention that to say that sometimes people act a certain way because of their insecurities or pain~ it would be lovely if the world was filled with love and compassion!


    1. Your not alone! After posting this, my husband pointed out to me the times I do some of these things as well. None of us are perfect. I think Covid Stress has just brought out the worst behaviors in people and I am noticing these things more often in others.

      Liked by 1 person

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