Martin Buber’s ‘I and Thou’


The beginning of a new year sometimes has us reevaluating some parts of our lives including how we are being treated by the people in our lives, and also how they are being treated by us.

Instead of our world being filled with rainbow colors and genuinely happy people, it can be a dark place sometimes filled instead with the corrupt nature of our society today that includes sly and shady personalities, doing whatever it takes including adopting unlawful means to get what we want, and the need for more and more and more and exploiting the feeble and clueless.

Friendship art by Astrid Rieger

Our current way of settling things, blow for blow,  the infliction of an injury or insult in return for one that one has suffered is leading to a visually impaired society unable to see the “heavenly” nature in our fellow man.

This current way of conducting ourselves has made things like our ability to have a genuine regard for someone, an easy to forgive mentality that does not hold so long to grudges and an unselfish mindset ways of the past.

When we are able to see past whats on the surface and really look deep within one another, it allows us to be of better service to others. The nonattendance of an all about me mentality, to lower oneself in order to raise another allows us to tap into what really matters, our purpose.

In Martin Buber’s book titled “I and thou”, we are taught of the threesome, the ‘I’ (me), the ‘IT’ (another human being) and the ‘THOU’ (our creator – God). Basically, the “I” must reverence the ‘IT’ which automatically translate to reverencing ‘THOU’ or God.

 This gives us another point of view, instead of considering each other as enemy’s,  we are made to see each other as brothers and sisters, which leads to the makings of a ‘we’ culture rather then a ‘me’ culture.

The old saying, treat others the way you would like to be treated comes to mind. If we we treat individuals with this sort of regard,we hope this triggers an effect in them to tap into the different powers they hold within themselves to treat us back in an equally positive manner.

Desmond Mpilo Tutu, a South African social rights activist said, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson, a poet said, “Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

So treat people a little better than necessary because it really does make a difference.

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