I remember seeing in India an interesting notice boldly painted on the side of a building which said BE KIND TO ANIMALS BY NOT EATING THEM. How charmingly naïve! And yet how clearly stated and how forthright an appeal!
Reflecting on this entreaty, I asked myself: But what about people? Should not a similar warning apply? How should we be kind to them? Should we not erect a comparable notice in our hearts reading: BE KIND TO PEOPLE BY NOT DEVOURING THEM?
Because that’s what we do with others a good deal of the time. We use others for our own purposes—as consolers, as agents catering to our comfort, as audiences applauding what we do, as victims forced to absorb our contrarieties. Only my need counts; my neighbor exists in order that he may be meat for my appetite.
Respect as service