11 November 2008

Who is my neighbor?

The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbor's glory should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would strongly feel tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no 'ordinary' people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours . . . . Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.

—C. S. Lewis, from The Weight of Glory

7 comments:

wendy said...

Timely, Geo. Thank you.

Scott Campbell said...

Very powerful. What a way to help us all understand the welding links of society and how imperative it is that we do not forget that we are all connected and important.

compulsive writer said...

Love this. Thanks for sharing.

Jamie said...

So beautiful, I have teared up. I love CS and one of my great hopes for the afterlife is a leaisurely afternoon chat with him.

You can come, too.

Kalli Ko said...

i love CS silly

thanks for posting that Geo!!

anna said...

mm-mmm me too. love me some cs lewis. sometimes i compulsively crave words like that the way i crave fluffernutters.

Angela said...

i knew i had read this quote before on your blog! our sunday school teacher used it in class today.