I am sitting in the airport in Dallas, Texas, thinking about what it means to love my neighbor as myself. Must I start with loving myself? How difficult! I’d much prefer to love my neighbor first because I am certainly the most unlovable person I know. Perhaps when I begin to see myself in my neighbor I will have learned to love myself and to thus love my neighbor as myself. Perhaps rightly loving myself is impossible if it is not done with neighbor love in mind. When I look to see myself in my neighbor I begin to see the humanity of myself and then the humanity of my neighbor, this leads me to love myself rightly and to thus love my neighbor as myself. Neighbor love and self-love, one does not exist rightly without the other.
When the command “love your neighbor as yourself” becomes important enough in one’s eyes for it to take from them their arrogant self-love, the sort that exists without neighbor love, then and only then will they be free to learn how to love themselves and to thus love their neighbor as themselves.
“…You shall love yourself in the same way as you love your neighbor when you love him as yourself.”
Who is my neighbor?
Perhaps there’s a reason that a California boy is having these thoughts in a place like Dallas, Texas.