And Who Is my Neighbor?


The neighbor is not he who passed by on the opposite side,
in order not to be bothered in one self-busy-ness,
Not to have to attend to someone in distress,
Not to lose time and money to help another person.
It is he who refused to see the pain and troubles of others.

The neighbor is the one
who was moved with compassion at the man waylaid by life’s troubled,
who approached the victim, the oppressed, those taken advantage of,
who poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them,
who gave shelter and protection to those who have been abandoned,
who dug into his pocket to provide for those without resources,
who cared what happened to the victim afterwards.

Often, we find it hard to follow the law.
But it is not if we just spend less time thinking about it
and more time actually doing it.
For the law is not something that is written in statute books nor even in stone.
Rather “it is something very near to you,
already in your mouths and in your hearts;
you have only to carry it out.”

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