The socius and the neighbor are two ways of relating with others. The socius pertains to the relationship with a group or a person through social function. In my understanding, this is a functional kind of relationship based on one’s label such as a student, for example, for being a part of an organization. Thus, in other words, the socius is the arbitrate relationship I have with others. The neighbor however, is a personal way of encountering the other as a person. It’s a relationship that develops deeper in degrees. It usually starts from an initial encounter that develops into a higher level of intimacy.
Therefore, the neighbor is the abrupt relationship with others. On The Level of Astonishment: In the parable of The Good Samaritan, the Levite and the priest were surprised by the event they encountered before them but since they had a prior commitment and being a responsible member of an institution, they were unavailable to entertain the man. The traveler however did not have any institution to answer to which makes him available for the man in need. Through the encounter, the traveler became present to the man. His behavior is his natural character because he’s doing such an act without an institution being a catalyst.
The Last Judgment on the other hand unveils the prophecy regarding the encounter of the Samaritan with the man. It is astonishing for the Samaritan to know the meaning of his simple, compassionate act. The Samaritan symbolizes the great acts of humans and encounter Christ in a way. Through this the message “Go and do likewise” is made known. On The Level of Reflection: There is no such thing as a “neighbor” if we base it on Sociology because according to its definition, Sociology is the systematic study of the development, structure, interaction, and collective behavior of organized groups of human beings.
That is why in this point of view, the neighbor is called a “man of regret, dreams and myth” meaning it doesn’t exist. The socius would refer the neighbor as outdated. The parable of the Good Samaritan would bring us to the reflection that if there are no beggars to be given charity in the future where humankind will no longer suffer or experience hunger, because of men’s ability to evolve technology, then there’s no place for a neighbor. People will be a part of an association and the parable and the prophecy will have lost its meaning.
This would bring us to the understanding that the socius is the “man of history” meaning he can mold the olden times. On The Level of Meditation: Both the socius and the neighbor are two dimensions of relating with others, an encounter. It shows how human relationship is in the current society. The neighbor is the private relationship we share with others and the socius is the publicity we make with our colleagues. In reality, there is no safe abode in our private lives without the protection of a public administration.
Therefore the neighbor emerges from the socius. But also, man is awakened when he is socially stripped. Charity is humble. It is the common intention of the socius and the neighbor, their common ground. The socius and the neighbor are the two faces of charity. It is charity that gives meaning to the social interaction and to the event of the encounter. An encounter is not dependent on history with its disputation between the socius and the neighbor. But history ropes the extent of charity.
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