The golden rule is probably the most widely known and least observed verse in the Bible -- with at least one exception.
We often marvel at coincidence. Serendipity, the mother of happenstance, has given us so many fascinating events to ponder after all.
Earlier this month at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center near Mission Hills, Calif., Alexander David Hockaday Ruiz was born in Room 1111 on 11/11/11 at precisely 11:11 a.m. A representative for the hospital said that the maternity ward room assignment was totally random.
We would expect someone to be born at that time and date but the room assignment is indeed astounding.
Another of hundreds of reported coincidences happened on Nov. 26, 1911, when three men were hanged at Greenberry Hill in London after being convicted of the murder of Sir Edmund Berry. Their names were Green, Berry and Hill.
On Thanksgiving morning, we joined hundreds of our neighbors in Bakersfield to help hand out Thanksgiving dinners to some of our less fortunate fellow citizens. What a wonderful sight to see so many people giving up their time to help those who need it most.
There were people representing every race, religion and political party, working hand in hand toward a worthy goal. There were rich and poor, men and women, children and the aged -- all doing their best to bring some happiness into the poorest of homes.
This was not a government-funded effort. It was both sponsored and staffed by people that you know, shop with and work with. People that you may worship with -- people who care.
When we came home and read the paper, it was heartwarming to find several letters thanking people for helping out after a fire, paying for a meal at a restaurant and a very thoughtful essay by Nesta Aharoni who recently moved here from San Diego.
She described the friendly and happy families she has met in Bakersfield with genuine admiration and appreciation.
Earlier this month, it was reported in this newspaper that Clay's Restaurant, which held its 21st annual free Thanksgiving dinner in Bakersfield, anticipated 2,000 hungry guests, almost twice as many as last year.
One of the families that we brought food to on Thanksgiving morning had just returned from volunteering to help other families. They were very thankful to receive some help for their own family.
We often read in these pages about how strangers stopped to fix a flat tire for a family that was passing through Bakersfield and then proceeded to invite the family home for dinner, feed the dog and offer a warm place to stay the night.
There is plenty to worry about lately. This world has become a dangerous place and our financial stability has been eroded. The future is uncertain at best. But here in Bakersfield, we have something worth emulating in other towns across America and in every place that human dignity is in peril.
Of all the things that make Bakersfield a really great place to live -- good neighbors tops the list. And it is people that find within the pages of their holy books reasons to love their neighbor rather than hate him that are such a light and a blessing to all who enter our gates.
We may have bad air, but we have good people. Our town might be small, but our hearts are big. People in Bakersfield apparently take the golden rule seriously. And that is why -- being a good neighbor in Bakersfield is not just a coincidence.