DeepThought mentioned the Second Commandment on the Islamic Text thread. Since the reference comes from the Christian tradition, and I wanted to discuss it, I thought a new thread was in order.
34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.
35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
I imagine there isn't a soul who has ever lived who hasn't experienced suffering at the hand of another person's violation of the second commandment. In my own life, others have suffered because I failed to remember and apply it. So I've wondered why...
...recently when I have re-read this particular verse, the phrase "love...as thyself..." is emphasized and I think perhaps that is the key. So many people don't observe the second commandment well because they don't love themselves well.
I think that many religious tenets, social mores, and legal mandates focus on how we should treat others and fail to address the issue of how to treat ourselves. Especially in the Western traditions, we focus of working harder and longer, strive to produce more, and fail to take the breaks we need. At times, in conversations about meditation, I hear, "Oh, I would like to do that but I just don't have the time..."
A couple of years ago, I decided to return to school to get my degree and license in social work. God willing (and with a great deal of hard work), I will graduate in May. Graduating from college is my adult life's dream and at 52, there are times I feel that I'm running out of time...for what...I can't reasonably say...But I felt that last semester and succumbed to the temptation of taking on too much. I worked at least 40 hours a week and carried 18 semester hours (equal to six classes). I did well but at the price of a breakdown that might have resulted in losing much of what I hold so dear in my life.
In my social work courses, the instructors are constantly reminding us to assess our performance AND our personal well-being. The work is mentally taxing and failing to "love oneself" through self care can result in very unloving actions toward others. I learned a vital lesson last semester that I dearly hope will not have to be repeated.
Keeping in mind my personal assessment for the need to relax more, I have quit working until after graduation, returned to yoga classes, to playing chess (if not well, at least with greater awareness
), beautifying my environment in various ways, reading for fun, and preparing for a trip (even if it IS a study abroad course, I plan on at least half a day on a Caribbean beach).
I wonder if others here find ways to love themselves more and wouldn't mind sharing. In the interests of social science (always the student here
), I am wondering if anyone else finds the correlation between self care and "loving their neighbor?"