Showing mercy and kindness can happen every day

By Arhiana Shek | Aug 14, 2019

A friend once commented how when watching the news on T.V., she always looks forward to the last news, frequently, a feel-good story of people making a difference in their communities.

Today, many of us seem to look for signs of compassion, generosity and kindness in the world around us: Humans, going out of their way to share themselves with other humans.

In a society increasingly divided, and suspicious of the other, I hope that faced with a situation when another needs help, I will not hesitate to offer a hand, but even more get to know the other person.

Prior to the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) we find this invitation, “To love God with soul, strength, mind, and neighbor as oneself.” And the question follows, “Who is my neighbor?”

In our society, being a “Good Samaritan,” means showing compassion, kindness and generosity to another person in their time of need. For example, a random stranger stops to help someone whose house is on fire or a compassionate person rescues a child from a turbulent river.

These stories are grand; they make a difference in the lives of both the one who helped and the one who received the aid. Plus, for us the viewer or listener, these stories make us feel good about our society.

Each day we encounter neighbors everywhere. I know most times I’m focus on getting to my destination that I often miss those I even walk by. Showing mercy and kindness can be as simple as stopping to say, “Hello, how are you?” to someone entering the same elevator than us. Smiling at a stranger and even striking a conversation with someone you didn’t expect. Neighbors are the human beings with whom we share this planet.

Spending time to get to know someone who may be of a different ethnic background, language, faith tradition than us can be a gift to ourselves. We can show kindness by welcoming the stories, cultural traditions, and other gifts from our neighbors. Some even live on the other side of the world!

Neighbors live near and far. When we get to know our neighbors, we discover we may have similar dreams for a just and fair world where our children and families can thrive. We will celebrate our differences and realize our common interests. Showing mercy and kindness can happen every day!

Today, everyone wants to be a “Good Samaritan,” someone who shows compassion and generosity, the first person sees the man, continues on, the second one who comes in contact sees the man, walks on the other side, a commentary explained in the religious Jewish tradition this would have disqualified the Priest and Levite for their work.

A Samaritan, this would have come as a surprise to Jesus’ listeners, sees the man, moved by compassion, treats the man not as an enemy, but as one dear to him. Jews and Samaritans did not get along.

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