I had to write a paper on this statement a few years ago. Funny thing to think about, isn't it? I forgot about it until last month when I taught a series on community. And it's come up in my recent musings on the relationship between advertiser and consumer.
I don't want to lose anyone on a philosophical voyage, but consider this statement with regards to being image-bearers of God.
(Warning: thick quote ahead.) Theologian Richard Gula writes,
"The trinitarian vision sees that no one exists by oneself, but only in relationship to others. To be is to be in relationship. The individual and the community co-exist. Humanity and relatedness are proportional so that the deeper one’s participation in relationships is, the more human one becomes. Since community is necessary to grow in God’s image, the fundamental responsibility of being the image of God and for living in community is to give oneself away as completely as possible in imitation of God’s self-giving."
This self-giving idea is crucial to being neighbors. Advertisers and consumers - two important neighbor groups for me - often get this wrong, and the fallout is painful.
Perhaps this week you can think of one small way to be "more human" to your neighbor. If you get a minute, let me know how it turns out.
Oil on panel, 1620