Blog 2454 – 07.14.2022
The Great Test, Love Of All
According to Whitney Houston’s hit song “to love yourself is the greatest love of all.” But, one of the best ways to do that is to follow the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
When I was a about fifteen my lovely Aunt Pat had a baby girl that she named Stacey. Pat was my mother’s youngest sister and when she went back to her day job Stacey came to stay with us during the day while her mother worked. My brother and I got to have a little sister and enjoyed coming home from school and spending a couple of hours with her every day and all day long during school vacations. I called Stacey my Sweet Tootie.
When Stacey was three she had an imaginary friend that came to stay with us too. We could not see him but she could and he was very real to her. We all pretended we could see him too and made sure before we sat down in what appeared to us to be an empty chair that Stacey’s little friend was not sitting there. Crazy, well maybe we all from time to time experience what others might think is a little craziness. A large portion of the world prays several times daily to an invisible friend. The United States Supreme Court just ruled recently that a public school coach had a right to lead his players in a post game prayer. Some think that violated the separation of church and state clause in the Constitution, and I am one of them, but then I have not always thought that.
From sixth grade through ninth grade in two different public school where I attended as a boy we had a mandatory Bible class taught by a Baptist preacher. It was supposed to be non-denominational, but it was very Christian and very Baptist. Various home room teachers in middle school had us read a Psalm and pray out loud each morning and my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Gray had us stand, close our eyes and sing the Lord’s Prayer before lunch every day. So I have been respecting other people’s beliefs all of my life.
For much of my life I considered myself a Christian, I have not for some time, but I still understand the comfort many people find holding up their end of what appears to be a one-side conversation and friendship. Some years ago I found Ten Intentions for a Better World that I have since tried to live by. The first one goes: “I refrain from opposing or harming anyone. I allow others to have their own experiences. I see life in all things and honor it as if it were my own. I support life.” I believe in choice, freedom of religion or from it, and a woman’s right to say no.
As much as possible I try to refrain from opposing or harming anyone and to do unto others as I would have done to me. That is the greatest love of all, that is loving yourself. It is easy to get caught up in all the craziness till we begin to think that we have some kind of god-given right to tell others how to live, but letting others have their own experiences is a more excellent way to live and to love, I think.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
The Greatest Love Of All