In the Bible, we are admonished to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I contend we generally love our neighbor far more than we do ourselves because I know very well we would not inflict on our neighbor the handicapping conduct we frequently impose on ourselves.
For instance, let us assume you have a neighbor who is in trouble. Things are not going well at home. He is having financial difficulties, is worried about his job, and in desperation he comes to you for some advice. Let’s say that after careful consideration of his case you go to your neighbor with a program somewhat as follows:
* Get up in the morning and start thinking about yourself right away.
* Let the same old troubled thoughts race through your mind unchallenged.
* Blow your top if things don’t go just right at home.
* Let highway and other traveling conditions get your goat.
* Enter your office with a grouch instead of a smile.
* Spend more than you earn.
* Be quick to criticize and slow to praise. Get easily upset and annoyed.
* Put off until tomorrow things that should be done today.
* Let yourself get out of condition mentally and physically.
* Stew and fret over business and financial matters.
* Finally, take a fed-up attitude toward life and fill yourself with discontent, moodiness, fear, worry and strain.
While such a program may seem a bit farfetched, I have known many people not too far removed from it. However, the point I wish to make is that we would not think of recommending such a course to a neighbor in trouble.
Then why saddle ourselves with anything of the kind?
Here is a much better plan, not only for a troubled neighbor but for one’s self as well. This is a “Be Kind to Yourself” proposition, which anyone can use to great advantage.
Simply get up each morning and firmly declare:
* Be my own best friend instead of my own worst enemy today.
* Refuse to let troubled thoughts race through my mind today.
* Let my family know that I love them today.
* Go forth to give and not to get today.
* Be careful and courteous on the highways today.
* Remain poised if things go wrong today.
* Make my firm glad they have me on the payroll today.
* Be quick to praise and slow to condemn today.
* Forget the past and have confidence in the future today.
* Waste no time or money today.
* Indulge in no harmful habits today.
* Be not anxious or afraid today.
* Finally, live today as though it were my last day on earth and try to conduct myself accordingly.
With love in our hearts, we would recommend this type of program to a distressed neighbor. With intelligent self-interest (not selfishness) in our minds, we should sell this kind of daily program to ourselves. If we want to get a good result out of life, we must forsake doing those things which produce bad results. It is as simple as that. Though it takes practice, it can be done. I know from personal experience that it can.