We owe each other a good life

Summer Merkle | Cartoonist

The Golden Rule says to treat others the way you want to be treated. Everyone wants a good life, so it only makes sense that we should strive to grant that to others as well.

Jesus’ time on Earth was spent teaching people to love one another. In John 13:34-35, he issued a new commandment to his followers.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

How have we strayed so far from that ideal?

We have a responsibility to provide for the people around us. Whether it comes to big things like granting a charter to Gamma as we wrote on yesterday, or little things like reaching out to a friend who might be in need of a good talk, it’s our responsibility to show people love.

The best thing about giving people close to you a good life is you already know how. You know your roommate’s face lights up when you do the dishes for them. You know your parents’ days are made when you give them a call out of the blue. You know your siblings couldn’t be happier than when you send pictures of your pet.

These aren’t huge steps, but it takes time and commitment. Everyone has their little little thing that makes them happy, and it just takes making the choice to do it once in a while.

As for the big stuff, do what you can. Find those petitions, attend protests, volunteer for campaigns; there are so many ways to contribute to strangers’ lives if you’re willing to care.

When we all work together towards this common goal of love, we should also come to expect it from one another. The expectation that the people around you and your community are pushing for everyone’s collective success and happiness creates an environment where people can call out others for not doing the same.

It’s that surrounding accountability combined with the generosity in people’s hearts that gives us a chance to improve society. Look around at the past 50 years. The country has become as polarized and hateful as it was in the 1860s.

We need more love and acceptance. We need more grace and effort. We need to hold each other to these standards.