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Poetry Last Updated: Sep 8th, 2009 - 08:07:52

Who Is My Neighbor?

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(As I recall Ivan Illich once suggested that the most important question in the New Testament parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) is the one the lawyer posed to Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?")

If everyone is my neighbor then no one is?
If no one is my neighbor then I have no hope?
If no one is my neighbor then I don't exist?
How do I choose who my neighbor is?

Though the "problem" can not be "solved" in terms of numbers, mutual interests, or
geographic proximity, if too many people are my neighbors then the meaning of
neighbor is lost, and the same for too few.

If too many share my interests then the meaning of mutuality is lost, and the same
for too few.

If the circle of geographic proximity is too large then the meaning of neighbor-hood
is lost, and the same if the circle is too small.

Are these elitist views?

Is it always bad to be an elitist?

Who is my neighbor?
John Ohliger, 1979

© Copyright 2004 John

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