One Sunday morning, drowsing in a back pew of a little country church, I dimly heard the old preacher urge his flock to “stop worrying about your own halo and shine up your neighbor’s!” And it left me sitting up, wide awake, because it struck me as just about the best eleven-word formula for getting along with people that I ever heard.
Shine up your neighbors’s halo:
I like it for its implication that everyone, in some area of life, has a halo that’s worth watching for and acknowledging. I like it for the droll celestial picture it conjures up: Everybody industriously polishing away at everybody else’s little circle of divine light. I like it for the firm way it shifts the emphasis from self to interest and concern for others.
Finally, I like it because it reflects a deep psychological truth:
People have a tendency to become what you expect them to be.
– Arthur Gordon, A Touch of Wonder, p. 221.