Am I My Brother's Keeper?

This simple question is what shapes and defines who we are and what we really believe. It crosses cultural and religious lines. Whether we are Hindu or Buddhist, Muslim or Jew, Christian or Atheist, the way we answer this question places us in distinct categories. Are our sympathies with Cain and the situation he found himself in, or are they at the opposite end of the spectrum, or maybe somewhere in the middle? And then the related question, "Who is my brother?" Do we get to choose our brothers, do we accept those that circumstance makes our brothers, or do we consider all to be ours? And on what level are we their keeper? Do we just have an obligation to keep from doing harm, or does it expand beyond that?

It is my contention that we need to consider all to be our brothers: the ones we grew up with, the ones in our community, even those persons our government would like us to consider our enemies. It is also my contention that we are their keeper, both in physical and spiritual terms, on any level we can imagine.

Abraham Maslow defined a Hierarchy of Needs, giving eight levels of human neediness, contending that we are unable to deal with "higher level" needs until the base needs are met. It is my contention that we are each other's keeper in all of these levels, responsible for each others physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

So what is the purpose of this space on the net? I would like us to use this space to explore this issue (and since I have a particular viewpoint, to convince others of the value of that viewpoint). I intend to allow free expression of ideas, however since this is my domain and I wish to give it a "G" rating, I will exercise editorial privileges if necessary. If the only way you can express your ideas is with offensive language or belittling those with opposing viewpoints then I may find it necessary to edit or even delete your comments.

So, are you your brother's keeper?