New Perspectives On The Good Samaritan
“And in the case of superior things like stars, we discover a kind of unity in separation. The higher we rise on the scale of being, the easier it is to discern a connection even among things separated by vast distances.”[i]
The liberation of such a tumultuous world I believe can come through the Biblical souvenir of Jesus' parable of The Good Samaritan. Out of all of Jesus' parables, it is this parable that can remedy the ills and sicknesses we see in such a violent and intolerant world. As you will see in the upcoming chapters of this book, this unique parable stands as the most mutually shared and holds universal principles contained in all religious beliefs.
There is no question that the chaotic turmoil and disorientation that enmity causes between religions must stop. Rejecting Jesus' parable of the good Samaritan because you do not believe many things about Him or frankly do not believe in Him at all would be the most ignorant self defeating path one could take. Many people today wrongfully believe that since, in their minds, Jesus is not real or was someone conjured up in the minds of men, that whatever He said in the scriptures can be categorized as something stupid and ignorant. But will you truly stand against the Parable of the Good Samaritan? Will you truly lift your voice against the creed of compassion and serving others while at the same time be in good standing among civil society today? To reject the parable would be in likeness to naming your four daughters, "Despair, Guilt, Rage, and Grief?"[ii] Who would do such a thing but the incoherent, ignorant and fool?
The good Samaritan is by far the most magnificent shining pillar upon the fields of moral and ethical behavior that has ever been and ever will be told. The parable solidly stands as a shining pillar and example of the moral and ethical conduct that is somehow inherently embedded into the core fibers of each human being. As we dissect this parable you will understand as I have, it's intended meaning and application that all faiths and non-faiths have in common. As will be shown in the upcoming chapters the story told by Jesus has manifold implications to mankind's moral and ethical solutions of how one should live his or her own life. The one most clear and palpable truth we encounter in this parable enlightens the essential core of mankind's direct relationship with others; compassion.
I unanimously proclaim among few so enlightened that the medicinal Parable of the Good Samaritan is the key pharmaceutical solution to all pain and suffering in the world. There are so many truths to be discovered in this multiplex voyage of the parable. I extend my gratitude to the reader who is willing to voyage with me upon this edifying expedition. For you, I believe have purchased not just a book but a ticket of enlightenment and if applied; a ticket to success.
This book I believe is important for it results in a set of unanimous and therapeutic guidelines that would ensure and safeguard the furthering need of tolerance we all need in this confused world. Regardless of what religious denomination or non-denomination the parable of the good Samaritan is logically coherent to fit all people despite race, color, or belief. No matter how selfish a person is, how ignorant, judgmental and evil they are the parable of the good Samaritan shines for all to see as the underlying moral and ethical object to acquire to live a good life. In my research I have found uniqueness in this parable in that the people of this world judge (even unknowingly judges) a person, community, state, country, nation and the world by the standards Jesus set forth in the good Samaritan. Though we be separated geographically by water and land, by varying sects of established beliefs, cultural divergences of race and even separated by time, there is one thing that stands still; compassion, service and love. Another remarkable fact that I have learned is that when a person is filled with compassion and love one forgets all other barriers that had so previously hindered and impeded their view of that person in need. And so I declare that each person can find within this parable a dynamic set of social processes that are all inherently good in all coherent human beings.
All of the three pillars of western religion, Christianity, Islam and Judaism categorize compassion and service to others as the most eminent and influential method of approaching their religious beliefs. Whether it’s the parable of the good Samaritan in Christianity, Islam's parable of the Hungry Dog, or Judaism’s 13 attributes of compassion, compassion and concern for others is observed and regarded as a critical necessity that has the potential and capability to revolutionize humankind.
I hope to be able to correctly portray the unity that western religions have in common by the utilization of the Parable of the Good Samaritan. My intended reason for focusing on this particular parable is to demonstrate through words how other religions apply it into their beliefs and traditions. In doing so we may, I hope, realize that we are not so different after all and that religions from all over the world can all in unison agree that the good Samaritan is the most important action one can take to unify others to lead what philosophers have called, "the good life."
This paper is not an attempt to convert or persuade others to any sort of religion but rather its purpose is to enlighten and strengthen the worlds understanding that there is one common theme among all of us regardless of perspectives beliefs, race, or gender and that is that the parable of the good Samaritan not only applies to all but it is the rule that governs each coherent being. I hope that this collective research will help with the erosion of intolerance and can help enhance, blend and balance the scale that is so outweighed by racism, prejudice and the narrow mindedness of men. Happily I have discovered that over 30 years ago there was a corpus attempt to amass and unify a people of different nations in lieu of the good Samaritan. In 1993 the Parliament of the World's Religions established a proclamation to the world. In this document was the signing of over 140 diversely esteemed and admired religious leaders from all of the world. The signing was a declaration of an unanimous agreement of the golden rule. "We must treat others as we wish others to treat us." This to them was viewed as the most mutually shared and universal principle of all religions. The signers of that document were from religious background stemming from Native American, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Zoroastrian."[iii] Serving others and acquiring compassion are at the root of the famous golden rule. The Dhali Lama has so wisely stated in the past, " whether one believes in a religion or not...there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion."[iv] The beginning roots of this moral and honorable procedure of helping others encompasses the whole realm of philosophical and religious traditions. What I will focus on in this paper are the shining three pillars of western major religions. I will follow the order of the top three organizations 'world ranking' order found on Wikipedia:
1. Christianity with over 2.2 billion
2. Islam with over 1.6 billion
3. Judaism with over 14 million
In conclusion, I hope that you will find comfort in knowing that you are not so different after all. We all have the same inherent need and the same inherent desire to feel love and to experience compassion from others. It is something we all crave, yearn and long for as if it is a prescription drug to heal the broken soul. And of the total 7 billion people on this earth you will discover that all religions (though I only speak of 3) are fighting for the same common cause. Compassion and love through serving others.
[i] Marcus Aurelius
[ii] George Carlin, Brain Droppings
New Perspectives on the Good Samaritan by Michael A. Hickman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.