Love helps us become aware of the suffering of others. It brushes away our indifference. When we begin to care about all of humanity, we can no longer stand by and let millions die. When we begin to feel guilty for allowing others to live in misery it is the first sign that we are feeling regret for our inaction. And if we react to the guilt by deciding to do the right thing it means we have changed our attitude towards the people we are now willing to help. That is the first step towards feeling love for those individuals. And the benefit is not only experienced by the people who receive that help but also by the person who has had a change of heart. Life takes on new meaning. You see things in an entirely different way. You are no longer able to ignore suffering. You cannot look away from injustice. You feel the pain of those who are dying by the millions. You begin to care.

Love has the power to change lives. Therefore, if enough people are affected, love can literally change the world. The power of love comes not only from the fact that it is “a way of thinking” but that it is also an emotion. There is no doubt that “love” and its counterpart “hate” are the two strongest emotions known to man, so it stands to reason that if more people embrace love, hate diminishes in the world. But, of course, there are some who will always be consumed with hate. However, the majority of human beings are somewhere in between. While they are not filled with hate, they are not acting out of love on a consistent basis either. Instead, they think of themselves first. They feel no responsibility for other people’s problems. They believe they have “the right” to live a life of privilege and excess. They see no harm in spending their extra money on frivolous things rather than making contributions to humanitarian aid. It is not that they don’t care, it’s just that the people who are dying are out of sight on the other side of the world, and that makes it easier to turn away or to pretend that it’s not really happening. But it is important to realize that this form of apathy can still contribute to the suffering and deaths of millions of people each year.

Love is often viewed as a sign of weakness. That is absolutely not true. An individual has to be brave to stand up for equality in a world filled with prejudice. It takes incredible courage to stand-alone with your principles against the masses who, through ignorance or cynicism, insist the world cannot be changed. It takes tremendous inner strength to think of others instead of yourself. It requires unwavering conviction to believe in love when one is surrounded by apathy and even hate. Those who have been brave enough to believe in the power of love have sometimes paid with their lives. Courageous individuals like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy all spoke out about the importance of love in the world and yet they all died needlessly from violence. Love is not a sign of weakness, it is evidence of intellect. It takes courage to stand up for the poorest one billion people who have no voice. You have to be brave to step outside your comfort zone of excuses and denials and be willing to accept responsibility for the life and death struggle of millions of children each year. It takes a daring commitment and resolve to tackle a problem as large as extreme poverty, but love makes it all possible.

A simple act of love is like a burst of sunlight in a darkened room. It immediately causes a feeling of hope. And since love creates more love, it can spread in even the harshest of circumstances. Love is nourishment for the mind. It not only sustains life, it can give someone the will to live. It is transformative, it enriches and it is the single greatest feeling that we can experience.

In the beginning, love is an individual act. Each one of us has to decide to embrace the philosophy of compassion on our own. Then, as enough people decide to live their lives based on the principles of love, it becomes a collective effort that begins to grow. As it gathers momentum it can bring dramatic changes. It can end slavery. It can defeat tyranny. It can deliver freedom to entire nations. It can eliminate extreme poverty.

Love always helps, it never hinders. It accepts us as we are. It supports us. It gives us strength to accomplish things we never thought we could do. Love gives us hope. It creates trust. Love is honest and truthful. It creates the desire to co-exist peacefully. Love is unselfish. It puts others first. Love replaces violence. It extinguishes judgement. It repudiates greed. It abhors dishonesty. Love improves our character. It increases our empathy. Love opens our eyes to the inequity, the prejudice and the hatred that a billion people labor under. When you look at the powerless with compassion you cannot allow the world to continue as it is. That is why love is so important: it compels people do the right thing.





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