A nation's greatness... - Wisdom Drops19-02-2012 13:22
“A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members” (Mahatma Gandhi*)
“As you did good things to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. As you did bad things to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Jesus of Nazareth*)
I hope that the authors of these two aphorisms do not feel outraged if I changed a little bit (and this is the reason of the asterisk * in the signatures).
In one case it is because, although in the original version Gandhi speaks explicitly about “animals”, all his life has been faithful to the weaks, those outcast, all those outcast. Another person who expressed a similar thought is Aristotle(maybe Gandhi himself was implicitly citing Aristotle, while he said this sentence). In the second case (the sentence of Jesus of Nazareth), the citation has been summarized for obvious limits of space.
Is there any need to choose to help a living being that is suffering, rather than another one? I often hear something like “you take care of these, but you do not see that also those are in need” (for example, said to the missionaries who go in Africa, rather than help the poor people in their countries, or said to those who take care of a stray dog, rather than thinking to the world hunger). Instead, I think that the emotional push to help someone is the same: we “choose” one or another only because the case has moved us closed to one instead of the other. Moreover, if all of us would help the outcast who are close to them, at least a part of them would have a help.