promoted by Rosi
Saint Luke tells us of a man who went to see a prophet, asking of him what is necessary to enter Paradise. The prophet simply asks the man a simple question – what were you taught you must do? The man replies, in essence, to love God and to do good to his neighbors. But the man then gets philosophical: Who, he asks, is our neighbor.
We don’t know the name of the man in the story, but the prophet is Jesus of Nazareth. His answer to this philosophical question is known as the Parable of the Good Samaritan. I don’t think I really have to go into a re-telling of the story. For the purpose of this post, let’s just understand that the first two people who found the man on the road, beaten and battered, adhered to a view of the world as being brutal and probably viewed their actions as a realistic response to a dangerous world. The Samaritan looked at exactly the same facts and reached a different conclusion – amid the brutality of the world, he had a chance to make one man’s life a little less brutal. At some cost to himself, he took the opportunity to make up for damage done by someone else.
You don’t have to be a Christian to understand the parable. It doesn’t matter if it was spoken by Jesus, Moses, or Mahatma Ghandi. It speaks of altering our fundamental view of the world – not by ignoring the danger of the world, but by embracing it and rejecting that brutality as a legitimate course of action. Knowing that he could not change the entire world, the Samaritan chooses a path of radical brotherhood and decides to change his small corner of the world.
I believe this view of radical brotherhood is a core value of what motivates Progressives to act.