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Won't you be my neighbor?

"You shall love your neighbor as yourself." -- Mark 12:31, from today's Gospel reading

This is a revolutionary statement. Looking around at the society we live in, the world we live in, we're falling short of this commandment.

In my field of family law, I see the examples at the interpersonal level of so many people falling short of this standard.

Then, looking at the news, it's plain to see that we're being divided in so many different ways -- through labels, categories; lines on maps; judgment of others -- despite our common values as people.

I think a lot of people may read the term "neighbor" and only apply it to a small group of people, who literally live right near them -- and thus probably look very similar to them, have a similar education to them, have a similar economic standing, and probably similar worldview and political viewpoint. That kind of interpretation isn't revolutionary; instead it's narcissistic: like looking at yourself in the mirror and loving what you see.

I think the true spirit of the commandment is that 'you (and we) shall love every other person as yourself.' That's not easy. It takes intent backed up with actions. It's revolutionary. It's what we all need.

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