Thursday, March 13, 2014

“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”

“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody's business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.” - Fr. Thomas Merton O.C.S.O.

Gospel Text: (MT 7:7-12)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which one of you would hand his son a stone
when he asked for a loaf of bread,
or a snake when he asked for a fish?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give good things
to those who ask him.

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the law and the prophets.”

We’ve all heard it and some of us have been taught since preschool to treat others as you would want them to treat you and to love your neighbor as yourself. This is more than a phrase from the gospel of Mathew; it’s an outlook on life. Some of the best people I know are absolutely selfless and treat everyone they meet as if they were the most important person in the room. Use of this skill, though, is most definitely a challenge at times.

Personally, I think this phrase needs to be given some context. Even if you do for others whatever you would have them do to you – you can’t exactly expect them to reciprocate the same action. Unfortunately, not everyone today shares the golden standard on how to treat others. I think that this discrepancy causes quite a bit of frustration because I, personally, have experienced it. When people don’t treat you the way that you would treat them, it can be hard to maintain the golden rule. Putting aside your ego is key to managing these types of situations. You can control how you respond to certain situations and how you treat people but you cannot expect that same response back from others in every situation.

The world isn’t necessarily a fair place – and no sometimes we don’t get treated in a way we deserve - but we can control how we treat other people. By continuing to remember the golden rule even when you’re frustrated, stressed, or not being treated well, maybe, just maybe, your actions will encourage someone else to treat others with dignity, kindness, and respect.

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