In our Gospel Jesus urged us to regard others as favorably as we regard ourselves. That isn’t easy, because our self-love is built into our natures, but coming to have a similar high regard for others is something that can only be acquired with difficulty.
I was much taken years ago by an explanation I read for the Jewish opposition to suicide. It said that every person is the center of his or her own world. As a consequence of that, for them, killing ones self is like killing off the whole world.
That notion of every person feeling like the center of the world could bring you to look at individuals differently. They might be only strangers you pass on the street, but each of them has a monumental self-regard that is the equal to the regard you have for yourself.
When Jesus says, “Love thy neighbor as thyself” he doesn’t only mean you should love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. No, he means he wants you to love that other as though he or she was you. He wants you to practice empathy.
Being a real Christian requires you to give to all others the concern you reserved for yourself.