There are many kinds of love, such as the warm love of friendship, the deep abiding love a parent feels for their child and the profound love shared over a lifetime between two people to the exclusion of all others. But there is another kind of love that is critically important to the survival of the human race: that is the love shown by tolerance. It is the kind of love that accepts people who seem different from us. Their culture and language seem foreign. Their skin is a different color than ours. They live on the other side of the world, and we have little contact with them. We feel we have nothing in common……But, despite these apparent differences, we are actually the same. We all need love, and we all have love to give. Therefore, we should make the greatest possible effort to love everyone, and that love should be demonstrated by a willingness to help each other and take care of each other.

Love allows us to accept people for who they really are. Love frees us from making judgements. Love keeps us from trying to impose our will, our beliefs and our doctrines on others. Love keeps us from obsessing about ourselves. Love is what makes us consider other people’s needs to be as important as our own. When we begin to make the effort to love everyone, we no longer have the desire to hurt anyone. We no longer want to take advantage of anyone. We want to lift up those who are suffering. We can no longer stand by and watch people die from hunger and disease. Love allows us to feel compassion for those who desperately need our help. If we are filled with love we can no longer allow innocent children to die needlessly by the millions. Love compels us to take action. It drives us to do what is necessary to ease the suffering of people we will never meet. When we act out of love we make decisions that benefit mankind rather than harming humanity. When we see all people as being worthy of our love, we see them in a new light.

Love and hate are opposite sides of the same coin. Both have unbelievable power. Although it is difficult to understand why anyone would willingly choose hate over love, it happens every day. Fortunately, love can be taught just as hate is taught. Love can be practiced, and it is contagious. Witnessing someone committing an act of love will often inspire others to do the same. Entire volunteer organizations are built this way. Love can be seen in a thousand small acts of kindness, or it can be demonstrated when entire nations come to the aid of another country. Love brings about more love. That is the secret to its power. If enough people act out of love, it becomes an incredibly powerful force for change.

Unfortunately, nothing makes people more cynical than the concept of love. They think it is naive to believe that the world can be a more loving place. They are convinced that people are different because of where they live or the color of their skin. They believe they are superior to everyone else and they feel no responsibility to help others……But someday these same cynical individuals will be in a situation where they need immediate help. They will need life saving assistance. They will need someone to come to the aid of their child. They will need to be the recipient of an act of love. At that moment they will desperately hope that people will not be cynical and will instead show them love and compassion.

Love needs to be the foundation for all human interaction. We need to replace mistrust and hate with tolerance and acceptance. We don’t have to have wars that kill and maim the innocent. We don’t have to let people starve to death. We don’t have to let children die from preventable diseases. We don’t have to allow a billion people to struggle in filth and squalor without hope. Love is the answer to these problems, and its importance cannot be overstated. A world without love would be unbearable. Mankind would self destruct as hate and intolerance, greed and indifference spread unchecked from one corner of the globe to the other. Love is what saves us.

Humanitarian aid is a direct act of love. Digging a well, delivering food, starting a school or providing medical care are all acts of compassion taken by strangers to alleviate the suffering of others. But, just as importantly, the recipients of these efforts also receive the knowledge that someone cares about them and that their lives matter to someone. This is as important as the food, water and medicine because the isolation and loneliness of poverty is just as painful as the hunger and illness. That is why we must take every opportunity to show love and compassion to the millions who are struggling without it. If we learn to love, despite our differences, we will no longer allow anyone to starve to death. We will not let children die because they do not have vaccines. We will not allow people to face life threatening illnesses from unsafe drinking water and unsanitary conditions. We will not stand by while helpless people suffer needless deaths because they do not have access to medical care.

Love changes the way we see people. Love shows us that life is sacred. The thought that anyone could be expendable becomes abhorrent. Love allows us to see through the eyes of those who are suffering no matter how different they may seem to be from us. Love is powerful because it inspires us to see what is really important in life. It takes the focus off of material things and redirects our attention to the well being of humanity. It establishes a deep and lasting level of concern for others. It helps us to see that we all need to work together and make sure that everyone has an opportunity in life. Love makes us care.




One thought on “LOVE (PART 1)

  1. I’m listening. When I have the means(and I will!), I promise to love in deed and not in word or thought alone. MLW Sr

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