When we’re young, we’re easy prey for cultural assortments, doctrinal adhesions and tribal affiliations. In our unexamined middle age, our attachments hang from us like sticky notes on the door of a refrigerator.
The parable of the Good Samaritan tells us what love is—an uncaused and spontaneous action of the heart. It also tells us what love is not—a good intention, a romance or beautiful words. There’s nothing in it of culture or convention. It makes no distinctions.
The cultural mantra “Provide for my family” begs the question: Who is my family? This was Jesus’ wake-up response to his disciples when they told him his family was waiting to see him.
Studies indicate that there is a decline in the trust we have in our public institutions—civil, religious and otherwise. Let’s not be in a hurry to say this is a bad thing.
We are instructed by a consumer culture to want what we don’t have. ‘Do you have this? Get it!’ As a consequence, we become blind to what we do have, inhabiting a self-created demimonde where the light of gratitude is a dead wick.