Most of us are old enough to remember the horrifying sight of planes crashing into buildings on 9/11 and not too many (maybe zero?) media reports gave space to any regret at the recent passing of serial killer Ivan Milat.
How come, despite numerous examples throughout history, inhumanity towards other people, animals and landscapes, is still rife?
Undoubtedly there are complex contributing factors in many of these situations and it is difficult to generalise, but Jesus is most famous for encouraging us to 'love others as you would love yourself'.
Ian McEwan, wrote in the Guardian newspaper on September 13, 2001, about the events of September 11:
"If the hijackers had been able to imagine themselves into the thoughts and feeling of the passengers, they would have been unable to proceed. It is hard to be cruel once you permit yourself to enter the mind of your victim. Imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself, is at the core of our humanity. It is the essence of compassion, and it is the beginning of morality."
Bill Hayden has been famously quoted as saying "it is inevitable in times of economic downturn that self-interest will rise."
As we feel our safety, our lifestyle or our well-being threatened, people tend to become defensive and build barriers of protection.
But if Jesus and Ian McEwan are right, then that is the opposite of how to live our lives. Openness, sharing resources, vulnerability and a willingness to engage and listen to others will get us further in building a cohesive, caring community.