IN THIS ISSUE:
A single rose can be my garden... a single friend, my world.
The Human Need to Care
(Excerpted from Eldon’s Upcoming book: What Does That Mean?)
As humans, we recognize the need to be accepted and loved. We organize our societies around support for one another; we care about our children and the weak and the needy. We donate money and time to charities and feel great empathy for the loss of loved ones, whether through natural disasters or other tragedies. That’s what being human is—at least in part—isn’t it?
So does it come as a surprise when no one does anything to help a 78-year-old man who’s struck in a hit-and-run accident, thrown over the hood of the vehicle, and dropped to the ground facedown in front of several spectators? The victim, Angel Torres, and his just-purchased milk, lay in the street unaided by onlookers while surveillance video chronicled the entire event. Indeed, the video showed “cars zooming past and bystanders staring at Torres from the sidewalk.” This incident occurred in June 2008.
Hartford, Connecticut, Police Chief Daryl Roberts saw the matter this way: “We no longer have a moral compass.”
Do we? Are we so afraid of being sued or mugged that we’ve abandoned our Good Samaritan values? Did we ever truly have them? What would you have done?
Help Out or Remain Uninvolved?
Years ago in Big Bear, California, I was delivering a Sunday sermon about the principle of service and its natural internal rewards. I told a story about an accident involving a small motorcycle that I came upon when I lived in Nevada. The rider was an older gentleman who I would see sitting outside his trailer early each morning as I passed on my way to the office. He always looked so relaxed and so at home, as though the traffic wasn’t present.
On this particular day, however, he was distressed, injured, bleeding, and lying on the ground. Spectators were gathering around, but no one was helping this elderly gentleman. I stopped and went to him. I did what I could until the ambulance arrived.
Days later, I saw him again sitting outside his trailer as I passed, and he waved. Without thinking, I both smiled and felt tears swell behind my eyes. He was recovering, and that somehow made me feel better. Why? What does that mean?
The congregation in Big Bear gathered after the service to chat and have a few minutes of social interaction over coffee, tea, and sweets. Several members seriously asked about the wisdom of helping someone in this situation, ever aware of the legal ramifications that could arise. I respected their opinions then and still do, but I had to stop and provide whatever assistance I responsibly could. What’s more, I believe from this and other experiences in my life that the times when we go to the aid of another define us as being moral human beings.
I remember hearing of a story about a young woman who was chased in the streets of New York approximately 30 years ago. She was finally tackled on the steps to her apartment house by the assailant, who beat and raped her while several witnesses looked on. None of them acted either. How could this happen? But then, that was long ago. Our society is more civilized today, isn’t it?
The answer is both clear and offensive: no! Why not? Research tends to show that humans can easily be seduced into ignoring the most heinous of acts, but that’s in the lab isn’t it? It wouldn’t happen to trained people, would it?
The dateline is June 20, 2008, and the headline reads: “Woman Dies Ignored on Hospital Room Floor.” The story is shocking: “Esmin Green, 49, had been waiting in the emergency room for nearly 24 hours when she toppled from her seat at 5:32 A.M. June 19, falling face-down on the floor.” She died little more than an hour later, and she lay there without assistance from other patients waiting near her or, for that matter, from security guards and staff. “Green’s collapse barely caused a ripple. Other patients waiting a few feet away didn’t react. Security guards and a member of the hospital staff appeared to notice her prone body at least three times but made no visible attempt to see whether she needed help.”
The Greatest Fear
So, what does this mean about being human? Is there a moral compass? If there is, who has it? Is it possible that what you fear is what you become? Can you be in a crowd and still be alone? How do you think you would feel if such events happened to someone you loved?
The question What does that mean? exists because without our awareness, we’ve wandered far away from what things should signify. “Meaning” is much more than some definition. In fact, as novelist Henry Miller stated: “The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnified world in itself.”
Meaning is more than just a mental construct. If being human means being a higher vertebrate animal operating in a Darwinian material world that arose as a result of randomness and that’s it, a pure reductionistic perspective, then the world as Esmin Green and Angel Torres found it on their fateful days is quite ordinary and what everyone should expect. If that’s not what you wish, then it makes sense to operate differently—or does it? What does it all mean to you?
Is there anything more fearful than to live without caring? Is there anything more terrifying than a life empty of meaning? Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” What are you afraid of—truly frightened of? What does that mean?
Thank you and enjoy,
On the Humorous Side
A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they're not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they're not so bad.
~Arnold H. Glasgo
The friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.
~Elbert Hubbard, The Notebook, 1927
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Radio Show: Mind Matters with Eldon Taylor
Join Eldon and his guests on talk radio. This week Dr. John Lerma joins Eldon. A renowned physician who has spent his career documenting the near-death and pre-death experiences of his terminally-ill patients, DR. JOHN LERMA follows his first best-seller (Into the Light) with a second book, Learning from the Light: Pre-death Experiences, Prophecies, and Angelic Messages of Hope.
In electrifying scenes of encounters with angels, miraculous healings, prophecies and visions, Lerma reveals compelling research and evidence that a loving spiritual world awaits human beings.
Listen in via the Internet from anywhere in the world, call in toll free and/or join the conversation via the chat room (http://www.ctrchat.com Be sure to tune in to Mind Matters every Tuesday. The show is broadcast live from Seattle at 4 PM (KRWM 106.9 FMHD3) and across the Internet (http://contacttalkradio.com). Take part in the show by calling 1-877-230-3062. If you miss it you can stream or download all the shows from our archives: http://contacttalkradio.com/hosts/eldontaylor.html or get your download from Itunes. Check out all of the upcoming guests by going here: http://www.contacttalkradio.com/hosts/eldontaylor.html
You’re Never Upset for the Reason You Think
By Layne and Paul Cutright
There is no shortage of books offering to help you take control of your life and begin to enjoy true empowerment. With that said, it is my opinion that many simply fail to keep the promise. There are numerous reasons they fail to fulfill the promise but one of them is that many books just tell you what you want to hear. There’s nothing in them that challenges you and nothing that insists that you must take radical responsibility for everything in your life. It’s my experience together with over 25 years of experience, that real change requires work.
You’re Never Upset for the Reasons You Think is both a wonderful book and a literal tool-house. I found this book a delight and I confidently recommend it to anyone that finds themselves upset even occasionally.
You can get this book at most booksellers. Here’s a link with some great additional information: Click here.
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