The Humanitarian

A definition of "humanitarian" given by a dictionary is, in part, "One who holds that man's duty is limited to right-doing toward others." Christ Jesus commanded that we love our neighbor as ourselves, and he illustrated in the parable of the good Samaritan, recorded in the tenth chapter of Luke, what it means to love. The good Samaritan, with no expectation of repayment, gave assistance to the one who had fallen among thieves, been stripped of his raiment, and left wounded. Unlike the priest and the Levite he, moved with compassion, rendered necessary assistance, binding up the wounds, making the distressed one comfortable, and on leaving arranging with the innkeeper for possible future needs. This good Samaritan was a humanitarian, because he was helpful and kind, unselfishly doing the thing he felt to be right under the circumstances, through the spontaneous outpouring of love.

In the third chapter of Acts we read that when Peter and John were passing into the temple through the gate which was called Beautiful, an alms was asked of them by a lame beggar. "Silver and gold have I none," Peter told the beggar; "but such as I have give I thee." And what a wonderful gift it was! So wonderful that he who had been lame went "into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God." These disciples, too, were humanitarians.

The world to-day has need of humanitarians, of those who manifest unselfish love; it has need of generous endowments, munificent gifts of money, time, effort—of love expressed in everyday acts of kindness. A fire dies out, turning to ashes, when not replenished with fuel; and kindness, which is but another name for love, glows with light and radiates warmth when replenished with the fuel of service and helpfulness.

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"I am the light of the world"
February 4, 1928

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