THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT
Every Christmas season we’re bombarded with not only commercial “obligations” but altruistic ones as well. We’re thwarted with so many advertisements of the latest electronics, fashion and food that it’s difficult to avoid holiday gluttony of every form. However, with the sound of merry registers a-beeping and jolly credit cards a-swiping, there’s also the sound of charities and kind citizens from all around a-pleaing for the spread of good will towards men.
Simple acts such as propping a door open for a stranger with a handful of shopping bags at the mall or letting someone cut in front of you on the freeway are just a few of the ways we can demonstrate this season of giving. Donating food, clothes, funds – or moreover TIME to help those who are not as fortunate as others takes that simple intent of giving to the next level. Bright paper packages tied up with string aside, Christmas is supposed to exude a form of enhanced love, if you will, for humankind as exemplified by the story of Christ’s birth; not only by the elves working year round to make gifts for Santa’s forthcoming night of dotage. “Love Your Neighbor As Yourself” – that is the greatest commandment of all.
There are times, however, when loving your neighbor as yourself leaves you wanting to key your own car or punch yourself in the face. It makes me ill sometimes when the gift of giving, in ANY form – via words or actions – is received by nothing less than indifference, or worse, contempt.
“It’s Christmas, what’s bugging Anna?” you might be asking. Well, someone called in today and I didn’t appreciate being reprimanded or hung up on after trying for 10 minutes to help him out. I hate when I encounter such reactions. It made me want to shove that holiday goodwill down his throat. But then I remembered another important part of loving your neighbor – forgiving them.