Let the honor of thy fellow be as dear to thee as thine own. Ethics of the Fathers

We live in a fiercely competitive world, no matter which aspect of it we examine. Sports are obviously and inherently competitive. Many of us are extremely vocal about our loyalties and dislikes, very often taken to the extreme. We saw a quote the other day of a man declaring his undying and immutable love. When asked if he would cheer for the University of Michigan instead of his Ohio State University alma mater as evidence of his love, he protested, saying, “Well, I would do almost anything for you.”

No matter what the competition, it occurs to me that there are better ways to express our feelings than to subordinate and humiliate others. We see it as early as grade school – children having better toys, more successful parents and bigger siblings. We can fix this and promote honor within peers, both by explanation and example.

As an educator, my procedure is something similar to this: “Yes Johnny, your toy is terrific. But so is Eddie’s and it makes sense that because you are different people, his toy is as important to him as yours is to you. Maybe you can play with both without one being better or worse.”

Likewise, my car is different from yours, my clothes have been selected according to my tastes and I am okay with whatever music either of us may choose. It annoys me greatly to see all of the reputation bashing, insults and posts of “what’s correct,” whether it be for word pronunciation or how ladies over 60 should wear their hair. And that doesn’t mention the unmatched political trash that we see daily.

Somewhere and somehow, we can be okay without someone else being inferior. Remembering your honor as well as mine may be a simple but effective solution that doesn’t undermine, insult or dishonor. Shalom.

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