For the German philosopher Immanuel Kant the heart of ethical human behavior is as follows, “Act as if the maxim from which you act were to become through your will a universal law.” I must not seek any privilege for myself that I am not willing to provide to everyone. I must not pass a law for others that I am not willing to obey.
It seems so natural to think of ourselves as better than others and thereby deserving of better treatment. My state trooper should allow me to drive faster than people with out of state license plates. I should get a discount at a store owned by someone who goes to my church. Because I am a Christian I think God should treat me better than those who are not. Jesus seems to disagree with me. He said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:44-45
The essence of true morality is A = B. The next time something bad happens to us we must not say, “Why me?” The real question should be “Why not me?” We want to be special. We want everyone to be special. However if everyone is special then no one is special, except maybe in the eyes of our loving heavenly Father. In His eyes everyone can be special. Everyone certainly is unique and for sure each of us is loved.
Written by Roger Bothwell on October 10, 2002
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453