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Are we our brother's/sister's keeper?

We have been told to mind our business or know our place, but in a society where we are so interconnected that each action we make has consequence on individuals we know and do not know are we responsible for all. This question does not pertain just to our own country since even now the actions of other countries may have a significant impact on your own country. Is it our civic or spiritual duty to take care of those around us and go further to make sure that our brothers and sisters live life to the fullest of their potential? Why or why not is it our responsibility to look out for or take care of other members of society?

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    Nov 27 2012: Coming from a space that to whom much is given much is required I must say yes we are our brothers/sisters keeper. Tempering my answer with the admonition that flight attendees say about putting the oxygen mask on your self first and then the person sitting next to you. There are countless times that I have shaken my fist to the heavens because of my awareness not being able to wiggle out of ignorance. For example, for me to resist helping my brother, my sister I must consciously give myself directives that I will not help, advise or assist. This decision leaves me with thought grinding angst. Primarily because it stifles my purpose and I am fully aware of it. Who says ignorance is not bliss? Seemingly sometimes it is. However, I am not willing to trade knowledge and awareness for it. In a global sense I believe the flight attendants instructions hold true. Another reason for us individually and collectively to have our act together means that we will have earned a listening ear. Could it be that it boils down to leading by example? Gone are the days of do as I say not as I do.
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      Nov 27 2012: Well articulated!
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        Nov 27 2012: Thanks for noticing TED Lover! I appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback:~)
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    Nov 27 2012: Many of us live by a principle of doing what we can for those around us and for those whose needs we perceive. As a practical matter, this typically means focusing in a few areas, as few (if any) of us are in a position to spread our efforts in every worthwhile direction.

    Where the matter can get tricky is the case in which someone does not want help or wants a sort of help we cannot give. There are many TED talks that are case studies of inadvertently giving the wrong kind of help really to help. The ubiquitous example of teaching someone to fish rather than giving a fish is an example.

    Here is another example, the TED talk posted yesterday: http://www.ted.com/talks/ernesto_sirolli_want_to_help_someone_shut_up_and_listen.html
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    Nov 27 2012: Are you using the terms "brother" and "sister" to include all homo sapiens? Do we each have 7 billion brothers and sisters? Or do you mean those people with whom we have actual contact and/or some specific common interest? If I am to be considered the keeper (the source of the term, the Holy Bible [Genesis 4:9 KJV], has a sense of shepherd, or immediate caretaker) of 7 billion people then the reasonable answer must be "no". However, if you mean the latter definition then the answer is "yes". Another Christian teaching applies here. It says that each of us is obligated to do whatever good we are able to do. To fail to do so is sin. [James 4:17 KJV]. Thank you.
  • Nov 28 2012: To me, this seems like a young person's question, no offense intended.

    People often ask whether we have an obligation to help others, and the discussion often revolves around the circumstances of this case or that case.

    I have found that helping others is one of the most rewarding things I can do. It is not an obligation but an opportunity.

    If you choose, you can have a discussion about who to help, or who is more deserving of help. Your could discuss how much you should help or in what manner you should help. You will find it more rewarding to spend your time helping rather than discussing.
  • Nov 27 2012: It is usually said 'Think global, act local'
    Kate Blake and Edward Long have made very good points.
    If we do not cling to excuses and take care of the members of our family; and then care for members of our immediate community, then we are on the right path.

    If we do not care or love those who are close to us, how can we do such for those who are miles away?
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    Dec 3 2012: ...in the dark, every candle's responsibility is to keep its own flame intact to light and help the other...so as we can help others by self sustaining...being not burden on others...it must not be considered as selfishness...

    ...we help the others by giving them equal opportunity to grow, not only by supporting them to grow...living in now, the present is another way to help others...to resist our fear and insecurity about tomorrow...

    ...to minimize the enjoyment of pride in being better or higher...to make other feel lower...

    ...in all we support by keeping our-self strong and self-controlled...
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    Nov 28 2012: It depends on whether you want war or peace. When people's needs are not met, they won't just sit and die. They will fight to live a good life. A helping hand can make the difference.

    The trick is how do you help them? As Fritzie says, some don't want help, and some will take advantage. So we must differentiate between help that is productive and help that is wasted.

    I say it IS our SPIRITUAL duty to take care of those around us AND go further to make sure that our brothers and sisters live life to the fullest of their potential. We not only want them to live, we want them to take charge of their potential and put it to good use. That requires spiritual understanding on our part. A good leader knows how to encourage and motivate for the good of all.

    The King of Kings told us that we should love our neighbor as ourselves. He was the prince of peace. I believe him.
  • Nov 27 2012: What does that mean? How far is one expected to go? Is this just a response by a man who has killed his brother. Good judgment is never in bed taste.