Whose donkey is that?


Photo courtesy of Madison Brown

Photo courtesy of Madison Brown

In my last post, I asked the question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” and concluded in the affirmative.  However, there is more I would like to discuss on the topic.

Yes, we are all placed on this earth for a unique purpose.  Some of us jump in with both feet to live this purpose, others take more time at jumping in, and still others may shift from one endeavor to another, but eventually find their niche.  The key ingredient is mindfulness – being aware of what one is doing and how it impacts their environment and the people within their sphere of influence.

When I am mindful of the world around me – as I walk to the grocery store, as I share a coffee at a local sidewalk café, as I read a novel at the public library – I can be observant and see when something is astray and take action to right the situation.  I need to be about and engaged in the community in order to see my neighbor’s donkey go astray.

We need to be deliberate at engaging our neighbors.  We need to make time for them.  If I am always at the big box store, which I drove 30 minutes to get to, at which I purchased a year’s supply of paper towels, and then drive home and park in the garage with its automatic garage door opener, how will I have the opportunity to engage my neighbor at a basic and intimate level?  Our media driven, consumerism based society is at odds with this style of simple, mindful living.

If I am mindful of the world about me, and live in such a way as I can observe the conditions about me, I will be available to take action to contribute to society’s improvement.  Now my neighbor may not have an ox or donkey, but I may see his trash can knocked over or his driveway un-shoveled from the recent snow.  I can act to help him in these ways.

This concept also extends to being mindful of our environment, the environment that we all share.  God created man and woman to be stewards of the earth.  We are all one community living together on this tiny planet we call home.

There is nowhere else to go. 

We are each responsible to taking care of it – for doing that which promotes the long-term health of the air, water and land we share.  If we see something astray – trash rolling about, a leak unplugged, or oil spilt, we should right the situation.  This is consistent with our calling to care for our brothers, neighbors, and yes, even our enemies.

We are all community on the planet earth.

If we live in isolation in a cabin away from it all, even on a beautiful mountainside, how can we see and provide care and relief to others?

We need to be engaged with people and establish relationships. 

We each need to be engaged in our community, our society.

I am my brother’s keeper.  We all are.

What can you do today to serve your brothers, sisters, and neighbors?

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About John Forrest