Am I My Brother’s Keeper – Taking Responsibility for Who We Actually Are


“…do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing….” Matthew 6:3

There is a scripture in the Bible that warns us against allowing the right hand of knowing what the left hand is doing. The scripture is actually advising us not to be obvious about our acts of charity. It is telling us to do good for good’s sake and not for public recognition. I am afraid that many have not read that passage, and I am even more concerned that if we have, we allowed the words to mean only what we wanted them to mean.

As individuals, we have a tendency to interpret things the way that we want. Let’s face it. Words are limited, and the shrewd among us are adept at highlighting what we like and avoiding what we don’t like among them. That is just another layer of denial–another way that we have mastered the art of deceiving ourselves, as well as others around ourselves.

This month, I have written several times about denial. It continues to fascinate me that intelligent, cognizant people are often totally unaware of what actually makes themselves tick. I am sure that I, too, am in denial, but at least, I am willing to consider that as a possibility. Many people are able to pull blinders across their own eyes and never even think about looking beyond.

I chuckle at the ways that people today have latched on the phrase that is often spurted, saying that they will not do this or that because they don’t need this or that negativity in their lives. The same people will dismiss best friends and family members with little more than a flip of the hand, saying that THE OTHERS are also negative. In my opinion, this activity has become a ruse. It has become a way that we excuse doing things that we know that we should not do–of accepting our own cruelties–and laying the blame somewhere else.

“We are not only our brother’s keeper, in countless large and small ways, we are our brother’s maker.” – Bonaro Overstreet.

I just read the above quote. It made me think about the ways that we love to pass the buck. We love to tell ourselves that things are NEVER our faults. The blame always lies somewhere else. Someone or something else has become a problem, and it simply is not our problem. Those other people are leeching negativity, and we simply need to wash our hands clean. After all, we are in no way responsible for them, and we cannot allow them to take us down with them. 

That thought process is an atrocious example of denial. In truth, NO one is always blameless. Responsibility is a long and convoluted affair. If we ever learn to see things as they truly are, I dare say that we all will discover that things that went wrong often did so because of a series of misdeeds–many of which were out of the hands of the wrong-doer and yes–we were partially the blame.

I dream of a world where people will simply open their eyes and see every side of every coin. I dream of a world where we will learn to be more responsible for things that we have done wrong. I dream of a world that is free of our denials.

©Jacki Kellum January 22, 2016


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