Giving our undivided attention


What does it take to get our attention?

Those of us who still have common sense must be wondering this as we watch tragedy after tragedy unfold, experience or see natural disasters unleash their fury and hear the spewing of venomous statement after venomous statement from the right, the left and the middle, with hate and bigotry at its core.

Could it be that our politics has done this to us, turned our country into a hate-mongering society, where harming first and asking questions later is quickly becoming the horrifying norm? Are we merely accepting that this is the way life in America must be now? Don’t we have a responsibility to bring about change?

We think the answer is yes.

While we still contend that there are far more good people than evil ones in our midst,with anger rising and hope diminishing, how long will it be before we can no long, with assurance, make that statement?

From pipe bombs being sent to former presidents to the tragic shooting deaths of 11 people inside a synagogue in what is being referred to as the deadliest rampage against the Jewish community in U.S. history, evil has been unleashed yet again.

And that begs our question: What does it take to get our attention? Extended further, perhaps the question should be: When will we learn to get along, to exist in a world with people, different perhaps than we are, but still our neighbors?

While not everyone who reads these editorials are of the Christian faith, it is that faith that we rely upon as we make an urgent plea to people of all religions, all races, all socio-economic classes, all political persuasions and all sexual persuasions to learn to get along once again.

In God’s holy word, the Bible, in Jeremiah 22:17, the prophet warned against building palaces while bullying people. “But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for they coveteousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it.”

God calls us to love our neighbor. It is, along with loving the Lord thy God with all thine heart, the greatest commandment.

And our neighbor isn’t just those who are easy to love, easy to agree with, easy to care for. Our neighbor is the downtrodden; the lost; the Christian and the Muslim; the rich and the poor; the Democrat and the Republican; the thief and the righteous. And the list just goes on and on. It is not up to us to judge them; it is our call to love them.

Whether you are Christian or of some other faith, the tenet of loving your neighbor remains the source of hope we can offer to someone else. It is the thing that can and will change the world.

Our attention is needed. Won’t you give it today?

— The Sampson Independent


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