IN TODAY'S WORLD of interconnected lives, we can't afford to turn a blind eye to what's happening in places beyond our own backyard. The developing economy of a country on the other side of the planet may have an effect on the price of fuel at your local gas station. A single case of flu in a jungle may give rise to concerns about an epidemic in a metropolis. Today's skirmish in an unknown land may drive tomorrow's national defense policy.

Our interrelated lives involve mental cause and effect. And tuning in to the needs of others, we can make a difference. Speaking in a parable about showing charity and concern for people everywhere, Jesus said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matt. 25:40). Jesus also said the opposite is true; becoming inured to the concerns of others, such as accepting disturbance as natural or normal either at home or abroad, we in effect expect—and even promote—more of it.

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June 20, 2005

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