It is easy to care from a distance. We send money, we express our anger at the injustice, and we even demonstrate our frustration at our inability to do anything about the situation. We cry as people die, especially if the circumstance is needless, careless, or exploitive. If we see, we are often torn from the inside out.
It seems as though our caring changes the closer the situation gets. When it finally gets to our community or even to our family, we allow justice to run its course. If someone has made a bad choice, they should learn and grow. Translated this is comes across as bearing the pain. If someone has succumbed to a temptation that is not one of our own, they should understand the consequences of being weak. Translated this comes across as reaping the crops we have chosen to sow. If someone is difficult to get along with, they should learn to be nice. Translated this comes across as we simply do not care if we do not like them. Distance is a strange translator.
In the multicultural city of Singapore, others continue to teach me the following principles of living.
Being polite is something we give to others, even when we think they deserve something else.
Being kind in all circumstances is at the essence of what is means to be human.
Being respectful to others in their journey of spirit, religion, or life is the beginning of exercising the freedom we so desperately cherish.
Initially I thought these values were the distillation of the best cultures represented in Singapore’s citizens. I have come to realize that it is far more. They are values God embraces and offers to us as keys to experiencing the best life has to offer. They are the beginning of human caring. They will also begin the healing process within. God offers each Divinity’s tools. It is also an invitation to participate in the work of the Gods.
“‘Peace to the far-off, peace to the near-at-hand,’ says God—‘and yes, I will heal them.’” (Isaiah 57.19)
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