A dogmatical spirit inclines a man to be censorious of his neighbors. Every one of his opinions appears to him written, as it were, with sunbeams, and he grows angry that his neighbors do not see it in the same light. He is tempted to disdain his correspondents as men of low and dark understandings because they do not believe what he does.
I've been pretty lucky with neighbors. But back in 1998, I lived, like, literally next door to Wrigley Field in Chicago. And I had, like, 50,000 bad neighbors spread out over the course of one summer. I'm a diehard Cubs fan, but living right next to the ballpark, it's just - as you're trying to go to sleep, you can just, like, hear urination.
We may not always agree with every one of our neighbors. That's life. And it's part of living in such a diverse and dense city. But we also recognize that part of being a New Yorker is living with your neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. It was exactly that spirit of openness and acceptance that was attacked on 9/11, 2001.
We become neighbors when we are willing to cross the road for one another. (...) There is a lot of road crossing to do. We are all very busy in our own circles. We have our own people to go to and our own affairs to take care of. But if we could cross the road once in a while and pay attention to what is happening on the other side, we might indeed become neighbors.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
The Savior's words are simple, yet their meaning is profound and deeply significant. We are to love God and to love and care for our neighbors as ourselves. Imagine what good we can do in the world if we all join together, united as followers of Christ, anxiously and busily responding to the needs of others and serving those around us "" our families, our friends, our neighbors, our fellow citizens.
M. Russell Ballard
Our President feels, and apparently many in the United Nations Security Council feel, that it is necessary to disarm Iraq before Iraq can again use weapons of mass destruction on her neighbors or she makes some liaison with terrorists who will use these weapons either against Iraq's neighbors or ourselves.
Every night I pray I whisper into a megaphone, not only so God is sure to hear, but also my neighbors, because I pray to God He'll deliver pestilence and plague to the residents next door. I even tell God the exact address, as if He can't read my heart. But it's not for His benefit, it's for my neighbors'.
If we are to love our neighbors, before doing anything else we must see our neighbors. With our imagination as well as our eyes, that is to say like artists, we must see not just their faces but the life behind and within their faces. Here it is love that is the frame we see them in.
As disciples of Christ, we need to feel genuine charity for one another. As we do, new light will come into our own lives. This charity is essential in missionary work, but we must never allow ourselves to treat our neighbors only as potential converts. We have had the sad experience of seeing members of the Church who attempted to convert their neighbors and friends and, when they did not respond, withdrew their friendship and neighborliness. We must not be so anxious to share the gospel that we become insensitive to the feelings of others.
M. Russell Ballard
If we are looking for insurance against want and oppression, we will find it only in our neighbors' prosperity and goodwill and, beyond that, in the good health of our worldly places, our homelands. If we were sincerely looking for a place of safety, for real security and success, then we would begin to turn to our communities - and not the communities simply of our human neighbors but also of the water, earth, and air, the plants and animals, all the creatures with whom our local life is shared. (pg. 59, "Racism and the Economy")
In the Christian sense, love is not primarily an emotion but an act of the will. When Jesus tells us to love our neighbors, he is not telling us to love them in the sense of responding to them with a cozy emotional feeling. You can as well produce a cozy emotional feeling as you can a cough or sneeze. On the contrary, he is telling us to love our neighbors in the sense of being willing to work for their well-being even if it means sacrificing our well-being to that end.
Thanksgiving Day, a function which originated in New England two or three centuries ago when those people recognized that they really had something to be thankful for - annually, not oftener - if they had succeeded in exterminating their neighbors, the Indians, during the previous twelve months instead of getting exterminated by their neighbors, the Indians. Thanksgiving Day became a habit, for the reason that in the course of time, as the years drifted on, it was perceived that the exterminating had ceased to be mutual and was all on the white man's side, consequently on the Lord's side; hence it was proper to thank the Lord for it and extend the usual annual compliments.
Behold, the Spring has come; the earth has received the embraces of the sun and we shall soon see the results of that love! Every seed is awakened and so has all animal life. It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being, and we therefore yield to our neighbors, even our animal neighbors, the same right as ourselves, to inhabit this land. Yet, hear me, people, we have now to deal with another race - small and feeble when our fathers first met them but now great and overbearing. Strangely enough they have a mind to till the soil and the love of possession is a disease with them. These people have made many rules that the rich may break but the poor may not. They take their tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich and those who rule. They claim this mother of ours, the earth, for their own and fence their neighbors away; they deface her with their buildings and their refuse. The nation is like a spring freshet that overruns its banks and destroys all that are in its path. We cannot dwell side by side. Only seven years ago we made a treaty by which we were assured that the buffalo country should be left to us forever. Now they threaten to take that away from us. My brothers, shall we submit or shall we say to them: 'First kill me before you take possession of my land
...this bill will require the creation of a Federal police force of mammoth proportions. It also bids fair to result in the development of an 'informer' psychology in great areas of our national life-neighbors spying on neighbors, workers spying on workers, business spying on businessmen-were those who would harass their fellow citizens for selfish and narrow purposes will have ample inducement to do so. These, the Federal police force an 'informer' psychology, are the hallmarks of the police state and landmarks in the destruction of a free society.
We Catholics have not only to do our best to keep down our own warring passions and live decent lives, which will often be hard enough in this odd world we have been born into. We have to bear witness to moral principles which the world owned yesterday and has begun to turn its back on today. We have to disapprove of some of the things our neighbors do, without being stuffy about it; we have to be charitable towards our neighbors and make great allowances for them, without falling into the mistake of condoning their low standards and so encouraging them to sin. Two of the most difficult and delicate tasks a man can undertake; and it happens, nowadays, not only to priests, to whom it comes as part of their professional duty, but to ordinary lay people... So we must know what are the unalterable principles we hold, and why we hold them; we must see straight in a world that is full of moral fog.
Ronald Arbuthnott Knox