In the tenth chapter of Luke we are told that when the lawyer who was willing to justify himself asked of Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?" he received a reply in the form of a story or parable in which was related the experience of the man who fell among thieves and was left wounded by the wayside. The priest and the Levite, we read, came along that way but passed by on the other side. No doubt they would have many ways of justifying their action. They might contend that they did not know who the man was or how he had got into his strange distressing situation, and that no doubt he was responsible for it in some way. Then they had their own feelings, position, and reputation to consider; there might be danger of causing themselves some trouble or unpleasant experience by meddling in something which was none of their business. They acted on the safe side of self-protection. When the Samaritan came along, however, he forgot to take into consideration his own interests. He saw a fellow being in distress needing the help which he was able to give, and the chief thing that seemed to occupy his attention was how he could give the most help in the best way. The unselfish feeling here displayed is one of the best examples of true kindness that could be found.

The word kindness we find is from the same derivation as that of kin or kindred,—being of the same race, kind, or family,—so that kindness in its truest and largest sense is the recognition of the brotherhood of man. The true brotherhood can be comprehended, however, only as we understand through Christian Science the unity of man with God, and the consequent close relationship of individuals to one another. The only thing that can interfere with this unity is a wrong or mistaken sense, which must necessarily take the form of unkindness in some way or other. In "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 18) Mrs. Eddy writes, "Only by admitting evil as a reality, and entering into a state of evil thoughts, can we in belief separate one man's interests from those of the whole human family, or thus attempt to separate Life from God." Unkind thoughts are always selfish thoughts, which poison the mentality entertaining them and create discord among brethren, unless antidoted by thoughts of Truth and Love.

It is important that we consider the unity of interests among mankind. We are all very closely linked together. The welfare of one cannot be injured without affecting the interests of another, nor can one be benefited without all sharing the blessing. "None of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself," says the apostle. The first to repudiate any responsibility for his brother's welfare was Cain, the first murderer on record in the Bible. But after all it was not because Cain had failed to be his brother's keeper, but because he had failed to be his own keeper that the mischief had occurred. Had he kept his own thoughts under control of kindness, he never could have committed such a breach of brotherhood.

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The True Metaphysical Student
November 4, 1916

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