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Focus on the Magnificence in your Neighbor

My family and I have lived in our current home for almost sixteen years. We moved in on my birthday in 1999. When we moved here it was for the convenience. I was selling Real Estate,friends 330  at the time, and had an exclusive listing on a brand new subdivision which was ready to begin, a block from this house.

Prior to moving in, I knew a couple of people in the neighborhood; such is the nature of living in what is, in actuality, a small town, despite over a hundred thousand people living here. While we have always enjoyed our home, what has been and remains the most wonderful blessing of our move here are our neighbors. We have found really good friends here; loving, kind people who make our lives richer by their actions and their spirits.

This is why when I read this writing from Robert Heinlein, it really spoke to me. Undoubtedly, some of you will have read this, but I encourage you to reread it with an open heart. I think it is very wise.

This I Believe

I am not going to talk about religious beliefs but about matters so obvious that it has gone out of style to mention them. I believe in my neighbors. I know their faults, and I know that their virtues far outweigh their faults.

Take Father Michael down our road a piece. I’m not of his creed, but I know that goodness and charity and loving kindness shine in his daily actions. priest_holdingup_chalice_red 330I believe in Father Mike. If I’m in trouble, I’ll go to him.

My next-door neighbor is a veterinary doctor. Doc will get out of bed after a hard day to help a stray cat. No fee — no prospect of a fee — I believe in Doc.

I believe in my townspeople. You can knock on any door in our town saying, “I’m hungry,” and you will be fed. Our town is no exception. I’ve found the same ready charity everywhere. But for the one who says, “To heck with you — I got mine,” there are a hundred, a thousand who will say, “Sure, pal, sit down.”

I know that despite all warnings against hitchhikers I can step up to the highway, thumb for a ride and in a few minutes a car or a truck will stop and someone will say, “Climb in Mac — how far you going?”

I believe in my fellow citizens. Our headlines are splashed with crime yet for every criminal there are 10,000 honest, decent, kindly men. If it were not so, no child would live to grow up. Business could not go on from day to day. Decency is not news. doctor 300It is buried in the obituaries, but is a force stronger than crime. I believe in the patient gallantry of nurses and the tedious sacrifices of teachers. I believe in the unseen and unending fight against desperate odds that goes on quietly in almost every home in the land.

I believe in the honest craft of workmen. Take a look around you. There never were enough bosses to check up on all that work. From Independence Hall to the Grand Coulee Dam, these things were built level and square by craftsmen who were honest in their bones.

I believe that almost all politicians are honest … there are hundreds of politicians, low paid or not paid at all, doing their level best without thanks or glory to make our system work. If this were not true we would never have gotten past the 13 colonies.

And finally, I believe in my whole race. Yellow, white, black, red, brown. In the honesty, courage, intelligence, durability, and goodness of the overwhelming majority of my brothers and sisters everywhere on this planet. I am proud to be a human being. I believe that we have come this far by the skin of our teeth. That we always make it just by the skin of our teeth, but that we will always make it. Survive. Endure. I believe that this hairless embryo with the aching, oversize brain case and the opposable thumb, this animal barely up from the apes will endure. Will endure longer than his home planet — will spread out to the stars and beyond, carrying with him his honesty and his insatiable curiosity, his unlimited courage and his noble essential decency.

This I believe.

  • Robert A. Heinlein

I share Heinlein’s love of and belief in humanity. I believe the goodness in people far outweighs the challenging few who are reported upon in the news. I do not care what religion another person is or if they are atheist, agnostic, humanist, or any of the other faith or philosophic traditions about which I know nothing. People are inherently good because they are LOVE. Even the ones who actively reject or resist this Truth are still LOVE at their core. This is the stuff of which we are all made. It is the Life Force itself. hands heart

Humans are now and will always be filled with Light; otherwise they could not inhabit these earthly bodies. Yes, we may always do battle with one another, at least until we learn to rise above our ego-based belief in separateness, but, one by one, we are learning the Truth of who and what we are. Each one of us, upon obtaining this Awareness, realizes we no longer entertain any thoughts of harming another.

I truly believe that this is the direction in which the human race is evolving. I know, at the very least, that I and most of my friends have dedicated our lives to helping us all move in that direction. In the meantime, I would like to suggest that we each spend more energy looking for the Light in one another instead of focusing on the lower energies. Together we will call a kinder and gentler humanity into existence.

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