The self is always the pivot point.
Another way: what do we think of our individual self? The Apostle Paul warned of those of us who “think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think.”
My message over the years, still counting, is for the ego and heart, if imbalanced, to be leaning toward the heart.
With that the great commandment of loving God and neighbor as you love your individual self pivots upon the latter not the former. If you think of yourself as underwhelming you will more than struggle to consider others and their needs as directive and encouragement to help.
This is not an academic discourse. Not for a breath.
Of course no names will be mentioned, for that brings judgment that trumps understanding.
What I find, though, in people for whom I have the strongest admiration…are not those who signature is followed by a dozen titles…but are people who ALWAYS care about the human condition when, as I like to offer it, walk the human landscape.
When I meet someone whose self-regard atrophies, I work hard to lift up the value I experience from them. When I meet someone whose need is to assure me of their greatness, I become quiet, do everything to not push a mirror in their face.
For. After all, who am I?
My dear friend, Art Johnson, in his morning report to the employees of his building supply company mentioned a book, “History of God.” In it Art says the author, Karen Armstrong, asked, “What if you get to heaven and see EVERYONE there, even those for whom you had no regard?”
I guess. I guess we could muse over that. But I won’t. Because my purpose and I believe God’s point, is not what awaits me after my last breath happens. NO! My purpose and God’s point is to live well this day.
For whatever reason on this second September Saturday, a day and fifteen years short of 9/11/01, is to look around and make sure I’m living in my belief of what I heard from a radio program in Portland, Oregon in 1945: “Today well lived makes yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope; look well, therefore, to this day.”
THAT, it seems to me, puts today in a better image…to live well is not to love the self too highly or regard it as underwhelming. It’s simply to take on the day…and let the day take us on…because a new day is a whole new ball game. For goodness. For goodness. And. For goodness.
And. Who knows? We may even whelm life.