From an early age, we are taught to take care of our bodies and to look after the things that we may acquire. Some do, some don’t. There are many reasons that may prompt a person towards taking reasonable care or being over-indulgent or indeed to show neglect. It has been said that some idea of a person’s character can be ascertained from their toe nails! These hidden parts may not expect to be on public display very often so it may be possible that they reveal something about a person who either tends them carefully or neglects them. How someone treats their toes may indicate how that person treats some other things. Take this wooden gate – if this is not soon treated, rot will set in which will seal the gate’s fate. Proper treatment of the wood is essential for its ongoing purpose. What would your toes or your gate reveal?!
- ‘He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals’ – Immanuel Kant
- ‘In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same’ – Albert Einstein
- ‘I am dying from the treatment of too many physicians’ – Alexander the Great
- ‘We live longer and healthier lives than ever before. Animal research has improved the treatment of infections, helped with immunisation, improved cancer treatment and had a big impact on managing heart disease, brain disorders, arthritis and transplantation’ – Robert Winston
Analysis of toenails is facetious when compared to the treatment people may give their pets. Americans spent over 90 billion dollars on pet industry expenditure in 2020 – these include flea treatments, vet bills, grooming, spa and pampering! Back to humans, the worth of the global beauty industry in 2020 is $532 billion with the global market for fragrances currently estimated at $43.6 billion. If we can afford it, we humans do love a good beauty treatment. Do you recall the first beauty competition? It was a royal one hosted by King Xerxes – the winner was Esther with two results, one was that she was made Queen and the other?
- ‘Esther pleased him and won his favour. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven female attendants selected from the king’s palace’ – Esther 2:9
The right treatment of a body usually has a good effect. Feed a body too much and it will become overweight, perhaps suffering illnesses associated with obesity. Starve a body and it will die. The early Gnostic teachings led to various heresies leading to the abuse of the body in a form of asceticism – as a material object it was deemed to be bad and so had to be made to suffer through all sorts of self-denial. These ascetic practices included extreme fasting, celibacy, wearing simple or uncomfortable clothing, poverty, sleep deprivation, flagellation, and self-mutilation. Asserting the spiritual world to be superior to the physical matter, they practiced self-punishment.
- ‘God does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust’ – Psalm 103:10-14
- ‘Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times” – Matthew 18:21-22
- ‘Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you’ – Luke 6:38
- ‘We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister’ – 1 John 4:19-21
Relationships will thrive if there is good treatment and respect from one to another. How sad when one person starts to give another the ‘silent treatment’ and you see a relationship breaking down. Holding a grudge and remembering a hurt will in the end wreak destruction. If God remembered our sins, we would be without hope. If God has forgiven us, we must treat ourselves less harshly for to do otherwise is to doubt God’s mercy; if we have received his forgiveness, then we must forgive others as he has forgiven us. The Golden Rule in thinking of how we should treat others is given by Jesus in Matthew 7:12: ‘So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets’.
No need to take your shoes off for self-examination or to request to see the toes of friends! Just look at your garden gate and be inspired to give it some wood treatment. If you don’t have one, how about your watering your plants, oiling that squeaky hinge, smiling at someone who looks down or giving a kind word to a friend in need? Treatment will always have an outcome - for good or bad? Well that depends on you.
TAGS – behaviour, behave, compassion, fair, fairness, pain, breakdown, fragmented, division