Four Ways to be “Otherly”

The City of Otherly Loveadjective \’uth er ly\

1 : Relationship to someone else. 2 : Focused attention toward a person. 3 : Kindness or generosity directed toward another person. 4 : Thinking about others first.

Otherly is a coined word. A friend of mine wanted a word that would help people see the importance of noticing other people and treating them with active kindness. Otherly filled the bill.

Being otherly is often not an instinctive act. It is especially difficult in the West where popular culture teaches to look out for self first. So what does it look like to be otherly?

1) Being otherly is, first of all, an act of paying attention. Texting on a cell phone while checking out at the grocery store is not an others-centered act but is, rather, rude beyond words.

2) Being otherly is as simple as asking what the person standing next to you in line is reading, or smiling, or just saying ‘Hello.’

3) Otherliness is the act of slowing down and noticing the people around. It is holding the door for the person behind you, sharing, and inviting strangers into your circle.

4) Otherliness means listening rather than talking. Listening is one of the most loving things one person can do for another.

Being otherly opens conversations, creates depth in relationships, overcomes relational obstacles, and makes the world a better place.

2 thoughts on “Four Ways to be “Otherly””

  1. Thanks for reminding me what I say I care about. Now I’ll have to practice not texting in the checkout lane 🙂 Who knew the Holy Spirit could convict us of such doable stuff.

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