Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.—Buddha
Here’s the great paradox of the 21st century: we’re willing to spend billions of dollars (collectively) looking for love, trying to find love, improving ourselves so that we’re more lovable, but we don’t do a damn thing toward actually loving other people. We are as selfish about love as we are everything else in our lives. We want it all to come to us, knock on our door, overwhelm us with emotional goodies, and reaffirm our sense of how valuable we are to the world. We define love not as something we feel toward other people, but by the quantity of warm fuzzies other people give to us.
In other words: we don’t have a fucking clue. For all the talk about love, we fail to realize that love is an act of giving, not an act of receiving. Love is not something that happens to you, but something you distribute to others. Love is not doing something based on what you feel, but what you feel based on what you’ve done. Love is active, not passive. Love is not something to be found, but something we create, from the center of our being, so that we might give it to someone else. Love is not narrowly limited to a familial relationship, but an over-arching sense of inclusiveness and responsibility to the greater good of humanity.
Love holds no bias, nor fear, but includes everyone.
It was a mere 45-50 years ago that we, my generation and those just older than us, were all about peace, and love, and happiness. We were sure that we could change the world with love, and ultimately we were correct, but we didn’t see it in the way we thought we would see it. We thought love would give us things, take away responsibility, make life more relaxed. What we failed to realize is that love creates responsibility and when we fail that responsibility, we fail love. Love doesn’t just chug along like a toy train circling the Christmas tree. Love requires maintenance, effort, and a completely selfless attitude.
Where is the American society failing? Don’t blame government, Republican orDemocrat. Don’t blame religions, present or absent. Don’t blame race or economics. Blame the total and complete absence of love. We’ve stopped loving, we’ve stopped teaching our children to love, and we’ve stopped letting love be the guide by which we live our lives. In a world where we’ve all but thrown love out the window, is it any wonder that society has gone to hell in a handbasket?
Love, everyone. You won’t learn how until you try.