I had a neighbor a few years back here at the “All Star” named John. I liked John, he was very serene and intelligent, a nice guy. He used to help me load my truck and was incredibly strong even though slight of build, far stronger than myself. Anyway, John suffered a sudden onset of mental illness. It was very difficult to witness. For reasons unknown to any of us who knew him, his behavior became increasingly erratic and alarming. Impossible to carry on a coherent conversation, John seemed to not even know who we were anymore. All of us thought highly of him but alas, the person we had known was gone. Finally, John walked out of the building one day completely naked. We never saw him again.
A few months passed and reports sprinkled in that John had been admitted to the hospital (psychiatric) and was now back to normal. I was relieved. Curiously, another report was circulating that some neighbor had thrown $3,500 cash into the garbage, witnessed by another tenant who promptly retrieved and spent it.
I never made the connection.
Incredulous, I spoke with other neighbors and asked who this person was. No one seemed to know or give an accurate enough description to register. It wasn’t until they said that the guy was butt naked when he threw the money away that it dawned on me. It had been John!
I felt bad all over again.
All the times that I had heard the story recounted, deep remorse was expressed by the neighbor telling me the tale, that they themselves had not been the one to find the money. Moreover, the impression was given that the person who actually did find the money had not witnessed the actual act of it being thrown away. I got angry when I learned otherwise.
How could you do that? Take advantage of someone so obviously gravely disabled?
Even more disgusting was a former All Star Hotel desk clerk named Richard whom exclaimed to me that under the same circumstances, he would have gleefully retrieved the money for himself, without remorse. I later found out that he used to be a professional hit man. Figures, The Tenderloin Housing Clinic which manages my hotel likes to proclaim itself a “giver of second chances”. More like a refuge for the morally deficient. Poverty pimps.
I felt so bad for John, it really hurt me. Not only did he momentarily lose his sanity, he permanently lost the benefits that his money could have provided him. Insult to injury, I had to live among those who would do such a thing.
If it had been me, I would have secured the money for John until he got better, or not. I would have opened an escrow account and deposited every cent. I would have kept track of John until such time as he was either released or, kept for a longer stay. I would have informed both him and the facility what bank the money was in and that it was secured in an escrow account. It’s my understanding that such an account can be deposited to but not withdrawn from without the presence of both parties under whose names it was established.
Bottom line is simply this, do unto others only what you would want done to you. If you wouldn’t want something done to either yourself or the people you care most about, don’t do that thing to anybody else.
Now, for the not so simple…
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is not only a simple and wonderfully elegant principle, it is also a warning. Rephrased yet every bit as valid, it could just as easily be said that “what you do unto others will also be done unto you.” As you sow, so shall you reap.
Violators violate only because they believe they will never be violated. Abusers abuse believing they will never suffer abuse. Those who take advantage of the vulnerable seem to howl the loudest when they themselves suffer loss. Their mistake being the fallacy of impunity. Here’s where it gets interesting.
Every action causes a reaction, a bedrock principle of physics (quantum notwithstanding). Religions other than Christianity have also recognized this time honored fact in varying ways. “Yin vs. Yang”, “Karma” and “The Rule Of Three” among them. “What goes around, comes around”, “What you put in is what you get out” etc. These sayings however, refer only to this life but there is another.
The Day Of Judgement.
The Day Of Judgement (probably lasting a thousand years) is actually a heavenly court proceeding consisting of all humans who ever lived, Satan and the Holy Trinity. Remember the part about the warning? Because all earthly courts are modeled after those in Heaven, they seek to perform the tasks that a perfect court would. What do courts attempt to do? Courts attempt to recreate the circumstances of the issue in question as accurately as possible thus revealing the truth of what actually transpired. Having accomplished the task, they then determine either guilt, innocence or liability. On Earth this process is imperfect, in Heaven it is not.
What this basically means is that when you are judged by God on that day, your life will be recreated in perfect detail. Not only will deeds be shown both good and bad, the effects upon those who received them will be perfectly recreated as well. In other words, you will walk in the shoes of those you acted upon. You will feel how they felt because of your actions both emotionally as well as physically. For all intents and purposes, you will become that person completely for the sake of the proceeding. What you did to others, will be done to you. A terrifying prospect for some. There is an exception however.
People who have availed themselves of The Surrogate will be granted immunity from all their previous misdeeds hence, they will not be judged, only rewarded for their good. Fantastic gift, no?
The Surrogate being of course, Jesus The Christ.