What Are Some Ways to Be a Good Samaritan?

The parable of the Good Samaritan demonstrates that good people should tolerate and care for their friends and their enemies alike. People who wish to be good Samaritans should selflessly help others who are either less fortunate than or different from themselves. Volunteering at a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter, anonymously donating to a charity, or taking the time to aid a stranger who has fallen on the street are all excellent ways to embody the Good Samaritan persona.

This parable appears in the Gospel of Luke in the Bible, and it details the interaction between a traveler who has been robbed and three men who pass him on the road from Jericho to Jerusalem. The only one of the three that comes to the aid of the traveler is a Samaritan, who tends to his wounds and transports him to an inn.

In Jesus' time, Jewish people and Samaritans were considered opponents in many senses. The parable was powerful because many of Jesus' Hebrew contemporaries would never have considered helping a wounded Samaritan that they saw on the side of the road. The parable was meant to instill in Jesus' followers a sense of mercy for one's enemies and kindness toward one's neighbors, regardless of their race or creed. To be a good Samaritan, one must simply show the same respect and generosity to everyone.