The Greatest Good
A student once asked his teacher, “Master, what is the greatest good I can do?”
His teacher looked at him lovingly and said, “There are two things you can do. The first thing is this: God is One, so you must love him as one, with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second thing you must do is actually the same as the first thing if you have the heart to perceive it: Love your neighbor as one, as you love yourself. There is no greater good you can do than these two things. This is all the good you can do.”
This question is said to have been asked over two thousand years ago. But the truth is, this question has probably taken place somewhere in the world every day throughout the existence of humans.
What Is the greatest good I can do? The answer is simple, but it just doesn’t always seem to be easy. After all, how can I love someone else as if they were me? Or bigger than that, how can I love someone else as if they were God? And even bigger still, how can I love everyone else, those who are so different from me, as if they were God? How could I ever see God in someone else? How could I even see God in me? Is that even possible?
The teacher in the above story seemed to think so. But maybe it’s just a nice story. Or, maybe it’s just the truth and the only real solution to all the pain, trauma, and injustice we cause and experience in the world.
The world hurts. We hurt. The only way for us to move forward and heal our hurt is to love one another with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. And yes, this is a pipe dream - as long as we focus on our differences, as long as we continue to see others through a selfish, self-loving narrative, the world will continue to grow in pain, hurt and trauma. Focusing on our differences, the lies we create about those differences, and the lies we ignore about those differences only further divides us as humans.
We were not meant to be divided. I know this because we were made from Love to Love. And Love does not divide. Love connects.
I’ve had two amazing influences in my adult life, or really two amazing statements from two amazing people. The first statement was this, “If I am God’s child, then everyone is.” What a sobering, loving truth.
The second statement was, “Tim, if when you look at the mirror you only see your blue eyes and the color of your skin, and the color of your hair, if that’s what you see, you’re missing it.” My friend went on to say, “If all I see is ‘David’ when I look into the mirror, I’m missing it.” We are so more than what we see in the mirror, and we (all people) are so much more than we generally allow ourselves to see in each other.
The only thing that separates us, that only thing that makes us different, is our ignorance of who we really are - that and the lies we have created from that ignorance.
There is a beautiful statement in the Book of Romans, I’ll paraphrase it:
“All of creation is waiting for the children of God to realize who they are.”
And who they are, are God’s children. All of us. He made us all. If you don’t believe in God, we still all came from the same place, we still all have the same design, we still can all heal through the only solution to heal: Love. We all came from Love, no matter how you look at it.
The greatest good we can do is to wake up, realize that we were made from Love, and realize that we are Love, This is the only solution to all of our problems. We all come from the same place. We are all children of the One creator. That force, that power, animates us all. To see anything else is to see an illusion, a very painful, traumatic illusion.
Everyone wants to be happy. We all want that. We all deserve that. Love is the only way to be happy, to have true happiness. It’s the only way wash away the lies, the illusions, the fear, the anger, the hate.
Love is our only hope, the only solution. It is the unifying power, the creative source, in each and every one of us. It is the greatest good we can do, but that’s only because it’s the very thing we were created to do.
But it has to start inside each and everyone of us before it can flow out of us. We have to be able to look in the mirror and see more than our flesh. We have to see what Love sees.
God is one. The ALL in all. In you. In me. In all. That means all is One. Anything less than that is going to hurt. Anything less than that is missing out on the greatest good.