Neighbor! The one label that truly matters


As an individual we carry many labels; I have been identified as a Jamaican born, black, naturalized US citizen, veteran, wife, and mother of three, moderately conservative, self employed, Christian. As I reflect on these labels that have been placed on me by myself and others, I am sympathetic to the many issues many face around the world that fall under a label that carries a stigma, that causes them to feel the sting of hatred and disdain. Whether it is by skin color, location, ethnic background, economic, physical, emotional or psychological status; many have suffered as a result of these labels that we so quickly embrace.

Despite being sympathetic to the causes of so many to include myself, I have acknowledge that as human beings we are so corrupted in our thinking, that it takes “divine intervention” to fix the disease that have so easily divided us; a perpetual problem that will hopefully and eventually be eradicated with time. As I highlighted some of my many labels, I have found that in each of them I have opened up myself to be judged and scrutinized and left at the mercy of others opinion. Every label carries a stigma that cannot be so easily dismissed and proves in itself to be a barrier that must be overcome. Until we learn to accept people as they are, and love them where they are, we will never be able to say I have love for my fellow man.

As a Christian, one of the main tenets and namely the second greatest commandment of our faith is found in

Matthew 22:39

– love thy neighbor as thyself;

Despite Christ reiterating its importance, saints and sinners alike have found it difficult to maintain this very tenet. Why do we so easily stumble to meet this very simple command? We have labeled ourselves everything else but what is in a neighbor?

Neighbor is defined as any person in need of one’s help or kindness.

As we focus on the key word ANY, we must then ask our self who is my neighbor?