Thou shalt not kill.
This is from the Holy Bible. It’s one of the ten commandments allegedly given to the prophet, Moses, straight from God. It doesn’t say:
Thou shalt not kill. Well, unless it’s for your country. Oh, or if you’re hungry.
God, not being Schizophrenic, kept it simple, as I can only imagine infinite intelligence would.
As clear and succinct as God was; people just weren’t getting it. So he sent his son—Jewish carpenter, public speaker extraordinaire, savior—Jesus Christ.
Jesus told many parables and performed countless miracles, wowing crowds across the Middle East. Still, the Shepherd, then as now, and as his father before him, eventually discovered that he was playing to the cheap seats. His impeccable eloquence and master storytelling techniques weren’t working. The sheep were confused.
So Jesus prayed. He prayed hard. And then it hit him. How could he have missed something so simple?
He gathered the masses and proclaimed:
Love one another.
That’s it. “By this shall men know ye are my disciples: if ye have loved one to another.”
Jesus went so far as to call it “The New Commandment.” In other words, “Forget about the other ten—this new commandment says it all.” He used his gift for brevity to cut the number of commandments down by 90% in one fell swoop.
How we got from “love one another” to “friendly fire”; from “turn the other cheek” to “holy war”; from “love thy neighbor as thyself” to “gay bashing”; and from “thou shalt not kill” to “Veal Parmesan”—is a mystery.
I think Jesus was right on with the whole “love one another” bit, still I’m not Christian. There are myriad others that have said the same thing throughout the ages. Why play favorites?
The word of the year is love. It’s simple. It’s cliché. It’s the answer to every question.