Neighbor With A U

This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one word prompt.  The prompt today is “neighbor.”

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Here in the UK, we spell neighbour with a u.  The “incorrect” spelling was the first thing that caught my attention as I saw the prompt word this morning!  🙂  I promise I mean no disrespect to my American friends or others who spell the word “neighbor” but as I reflected on it, I decided that I like the inclusion of the letter u.

The reason is: to be a good neighbour, I need to be thinking about you.

I need to look beyond myself, to put aside my own wants and desires, to realise that it’s not all about me.  I need to stop and look around me to see where others need me to be a good neighbour: to notice the person who’s struggling and needs a helping hand, to see where someone could use a word of encouragement, to be aware of what is happening in others’ lives- to take an interest and to pray for them.

In Jesus’ story, a man lies injured by the side of the road.  Three people pass by, but only one stops to help.  The first two are caught up in their own matters: the important places they have to go, their reputations in others’ eyes, the implications of touching the man who is hurt and making themselves unclean.

By contrast, the third looks outside of himself, and sees someone who is hurt in need of assistance.  He is filled with compassion and goes above and beyond the call of duty to help a stranger.

He is not focussing on “I” but he is thinking about “you.”

Jesus calls us to follow his example, and it’s a challenge to me.  It’s far too easy to become selfish- preoccupied with our own concerns, but when we look beyond that and truly consider others- that’s when we’re being a good neighbour.  It can be costly but it’s worth it, and it’s all about “you.”

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28 thoughts on “Neighbor With A U

  1. And this, right here, is a wonderful way to start the weekend, Lesley –>’neighbour with a u.’

    I just have one of those feelings that I’ll be taking these 4 words with me into the days ahead. Amazing how something so very simple can end up being quite profound.

    So very good to be here with you again, my British friend …

    p.s. My daughter and her husband just got back from a trip to Scotland, exploring her legacy, her roots. I am beyond thrilled!

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    1. Thanks, Linda. I’m glad you liked it. It’s lovely to see you back here again. Hope you had a good summer break, and I hope your daughter and her husband enjoyed their trip!

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    1. There are lots of words like that: colour, flavour, honour… I’m not sure why- I must look that up. I’m glad you liked the post- it was just an idea that came to me when I saw the prompt.

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  2. Here in Canada, we spell it with an “ou”. I also prefer that spelling. Its interesting how you wrote about not focusing on yourself to love your neighbours, and I wrote about loving yourself well and then you can love others. Both are right on spot. “Love your neighbour as you love yourself”. But we also cannot love others if we are consumed with ourselves as well! But, I think people who do live themselves well are at peace with who they are and are naturally inclined to love those around them. Bless you and thanks for reading my blog today!

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    1. The spelling is actually why I clicked on your post! I didn’t realise it was the same in Canada. I agree, both our points are important- I think that when we love ourselves well, it frees us to focus on others and seek to bless them, however they respond. Hope you have a great weekend!

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  3. I knew about the “u,” but never thought of the “you” connection until you made it for me. What a lovely sentiment. To keep our eye out and be ready to help when others need it is not so easy in the hustle, bustle of our lives. You have motivated me to be more aware and look out for opportunities to help others.

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    1. Thanks, I had never thought of it before either. I love how Five Minute Friday can spark these kinds of posts. Being more aware of others and looking for opportunities to help is definitely something I need to remind myself of too.

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  4. hi leslie:) i miss bumping into you. i can’t ever seem to find you on FMF. don’t know why. i know you are there somewhere. just seems hard to find. i loved your play on the word neighbour:) we lived in Jamaica for 7 years and i almost got used to their spelling of the word….among the many others that differ from US spellings. at the time, i was having babies. it was very difficult to call diapers, nappies. i don’t know why. if i had spoken a foreign language, i could have called them whatever the language said the word was, but for some reason, when speaking english, it seemed strange to use different words for things i was used to. i know, weird. i guess it was another of those times i forgot to use the “u” in neighbour.

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    1. Hi Martha, thanks for tracking me down! Yes, I’m usually there but I post at different times from week to week depending on what’s happening. I seem to usually end up either about number 12 or 13 in the line up if I post in the morning and somewhere in the 40s or 50s if I do it later. I try to have the blog name “Life in the Spacious Place” after the title.
      I’m glad you liked the post. I didn’t realise it was spelled like that in Jamaica too. I can see why it would be difficult to use different words for certain things when you’re still speaking English. I find it strange reading certain words in blog posts- especially when people talk about pants, because here that means underwear! 🙂

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