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Letter: Loving yourself may allow you to love others
02012018 LETTER

“Love your neighbor as yourself” is a basic tenet of most, if not all, Christian denominations and several other religions as well.

A basic assumption of this tenet is that we do, in fact, love ourselves. Unfortunately, we live in a culture where, from top to bottom, this is often not the case.

If you don’t love yourself, there has to be a reason. Obviously, it must be your despicable neighbors — blacks, browns, Jews, Muslims, LGBTs or whomever. They, not you, are responsible for your flaws and the mistakes you have made. Therefore, you will hate them.

This sort of logic may be partially responsible for the negativity of our culture

In contrast, I am by no means perfect and I have made many mistakes. I do, however, love myself because it’s me. I am responsible for what I do or don’t do. And I attempt to love my neighbors — all of them.

If you can learn to accept your imperfect selves, perhaps you can learn to love yourself and, by default, your neighbors, even those who may be different.

Remember, I am me and you are you, and we can all love each other.

Peter McDonald

Gainesville

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