Are You at Peace With Your Neighbor?
LOVE your neighbor. So we are told. It’s not always easy. Just to keep peace is difficult. Rock music from your neighbor’s apartment vibrates your walls. Their kids create bedlam in the hall. Out on the street, you get mugged. On the highway, drivers cut in front of you—blow your horn and you may get shot! Exaggeration? In some places, but not in big cities. The suburbs and the rurals have their own set of problems that make neighbor love difficult.
Much of the stress stems from this modern high-tech system of things. Thousands jammed into cities like scorpions in a bottle. Commuters fuming as they inch along in rush-hour traffic. Country dwellers rushing out screaming as the neighbor’s chickens wreck their garden. Farmers losing their shirts as bugs immune to pesticides destroy their crops. And everywhere industries belching out their pollutants. The air turns brown, acid rain falls, fish in lakes die, even the water table is poisoned by toxic chemical dumps. Health deteriorates, lives are lost.
In these and many other ways, stress builds up in the lives of millions as emotions are rubbed raw, primed to explode, and explode they often do. Many seek escape by drowning themselves in fleshly pursuits. Selfish materialism, social binges, drug trips, perverted life-styles—anything to retreat into the cult of me-ism. Love of self crowds out love of neighbor as the flesh is glutted and the spirit is starved.
And in those less-affluent nations, both flesh and spirit are starved. Revolutions ravage the populace, pestilence takes lives, famine stalks the land, hope dies, despair reigns.
No, in this modern system of things it is not always easy to love your neighbor. Yet neighbor love does exist, and many do enjoy peace with their neighbor.