The parable of the Good Samaritan is not just a story about a man who fell into the hands of thieves; it is your story too. In fact, the characters in this story can tell you a lot about yourself. For example, the thieves who beat the man and robbed him displayed a very delinquent mindset that screams “whatever is yours is mine.” We see many people in the world who display this attitude. Like the prodigal son, they are takers, not givers. They take from their parents, their spouses, their children, bankrupting everything in their wake. Their world is centered around themselves and their needs and therefore although they seemingly have everything, in truth, they are very poor, with miserable marriages and very unhappy lives.
The priest and Levite represent the world at large. They saw the bruised man but conveniently chose to ignore him. They are not necessarily bad people, but they are so caught up in the busyness of life that they cannot be bothered with other people’s suffering. They have home and car loans to pay, wives to please, kids to raise, smartphones to buy, movies to catch — they are constantly flitting from one “important” thing to the next and their schedule does not allow them to be nice or help anyone. In their eyes, the helpless and needy are just part of the landscape. If their subconscious mind could speak, you would hear it scream, “whatever is mine is mine and whatever is yours is yours. Leave me alone.” These people are rich materially, but they have to work hard for every little penny because their emotional poverty deprives them of opportunities to attract divine blessings.
Thankfully, the world is not entirely bereft of selfless individuals. Take the Samaritan, for instance. He did not have to stop and help the poor man, but he did. He nursed his wounds, gave him a ride to the nearest town, paid for his hospitalization and stay, and promised to come back and pay more, if needed. If his heart could speak, you would hear it say, “whatever is mine is yours”. Such people may not always be rich materially, but they are very prosperous — they have everything they need and everything they want. They live simply, love fearlessly, and give generously. God willingly pours out blessings on such people because they do not expend it all on themselves; instead their blessings benefit a multitude — in fact, the size of their blessing is directly proportionate to the size of their giving.
What about you? Which of these three mindsets do you display?