Loving Your Neighbor As Yourself

A few years ago in New York City, a man was stabbed multiple times by an assailant. The man was bleeding profusely and near death and yet he walked by dozens of people asking for help before he finally collapsed after staggering several blocks seeking help. Dozens of people were around and they passed him, as he desperately sought their assistance. The level of apathy present among those who walked by him was staggering. Apathy is described as a lack of enthusiasm or care. Sometimes it is driven by self centeredness and a lack of concern for others. This is a form of psychopathy. Other times it is learned. Sometimes working in difficult environments, we find ways to minimalize our daily struggles. We marginalize problems to the point that we eventually lose touch with them. Those things and people that we once cared for lose their importance. We develop a lack of enthusiasm in the absence of positive reinforcement as well as in the absence of negative reinforcement. Rewards become absent as do consequences leading to an eventual organizational composition of those who genuinely don’t care and those who struggle to maintain their altruistic bend in a culture that doesn’t value their intrinsic motivation…and so apathy takes hold like a cancer…eroding an organizational structure from the inside. Yet we have a choice…do we succumb to the apathy around us or do we continue to struggle?…to reach out…to grow our roots deeper, and to bloom where we are planted…this is the substance of perseverance as Paul wrote in the book of Romans: “For we rejoice in our suffering because suffering produces perseverance. Perseverance produces character and character produces hope and hope does not disappoint us.” May we be a people of hope. May we strive consistently to touch the lives of others and live lives that make a difference even in the face of the apathy around us. May we be the kind of people that would stop to help a stabbing victim on a street in a busy city.

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