I was watching a program on television last evening. I believe it was "What Would You Do". In the program, a number of people were "hired" to go and give a short speech on the Biblical story of "the Good Samaritan". Each person was told or reminded of the story and then given a map to walk to the location that they were to give their speech. On the way, just as in the story of the Good Samaritan, they ended up walking by someone who was in obvious distress and need (a paid actor) to see that even while rehearing the story in their heads, would they stop and help or walk on by. Sadly, the majority walked right on by, often creating other personal distractions, such as pretending to answer their cell phone, rather than acknowlegde or assist.
So often in our hurried lives we need a little prod - a little reminder - that, as John Maxwell so eloquently put it, "The world - with one small exception - is made up of other people." Aside from that quote being one of my all time favourites, here are others that serve to remind that we are all in this together and there but for the grace of God....
"He stands erect by bending over the fallen. He rises by lifting others." -- Robert Green Ingersoll
"Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing." -- Mother Teresa
"You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you." -- John Wooden
"Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up." -- Jesse Jackson
"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." -- Mahatma Ghandi
"Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly and leave the rest to God." -- Ronald Reagan
"People with humility don't think less of themselves, they just think about themselves less." -- Ken Blanchard
"The fastest way to improve your relationships is to make others feel important in every way possible." -- Brian Tracy
"When faced with the decision to be right or to be kind, choose kind." -- Anon
"No one has ever become poor by giving." -- Anne Frank
"Let's say that it was 24 hours before you were born, and a genie appeared and said, 'What I'm going to do is let you set the rules of the society into which you will be born. You can set the economic rules and the social rules, and whatever rules you set will apply during your lifetime and your children's lifetimes.' And you'll say, 'Well, that's nice, but what's the catch?' And the genie says, 'Here's the catch. You don't know if you're going to be born rich or poor, white or black, male or female, able-bodied or infirm, intelligent or retarded." -- Warren Buffet
Today... Practice an act of kindness. Look outward and find someone who needs a hand up. As Seth Goden relates in is book "Tribes". It's not that we have an opportunity - what we have is an obligation.