Note – I posted this blog originally on 25 May 2022, but added to it 7 December 2022, so I am republishing it.
“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”Matthew 22:39 (both the NIV and NRSV are worded this way.)
I chose to lead this blog post with a Bible passage, not because I wanted to force Christianity on my readers, but because the second commandment Jesus gave his disciples, according to this passage, is to love everyone.
Whether or not you believe in Jesus as the son of God, he was still a great teacher. His commandment to “love one another” is something many strive to live by today, even many famous non-believers. Love another like you love yourself certainly means a great deal, if you love yourself. But what if you don’t love yourself?
The world could certainly use a bit more love these days.
In the wake of another school shooting, just ten days after a racially motivated shooting, many in the country are reeling. Both gunmen were teenagers, just barely legal. Both had motivations that left others questioning their states of mind. The victims of both shootings were just ordinary people, adults and children hoping to get on with their lives. In Buffalo, most were just elderly or retired shoppers, the kind often seen at a grocery store in the middle of a day. In Ulvade, most were children and teachers excited to have just two more days of school left before their summer break.
“There’s a time that I remember, when I never felt so lost…. When I felt all of the hatred was too powerful to stop.”Maroon 5 “Memories”
I’m not getting into the politics of this madness that surround guns and rights and all, nor will I argue with anyone who tries to push those points to me, but I will say the world could use more love.
Love is the greatest commandment in the Christian faith (which of course is the faith I know most about, having been a part of four different denominations of it over the course of my 40 plus years on this earth). It is ALSO a core belief or idea of many of the world’s religions. Certainly, most religions I have encountered some sort of tenant about love, be it family love, erotic love, charitable love or parental love. Many of them uphold compassion and charity and yes, love, as part of their tenants of faith. It’s supposed to be a virtue, and yet many look down upon those who profess to love everyone in the world as being weak and soft.
Love can be a powerful force though if used correctly.
The world needs to be shown more love and less hate. It needs more people who are willing to bridge the gaps that divide and find ways to heal rather that it does those who seek to widen chasms. It needs those willing to love those deemed unlovable. It needs more people willing to learn also to love themselves as others love them and not see themselves as worthless.
“What the world needs now is love, sweet love.”Jackie DeShannon (though the song was written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach)
So, my dear readers, I challenge you today. I challenge you to be love in a world where hate seems to increasingly be the norm. Be the magic to conquer the evil, just as my protagonists do in the Portals Series. Show love to those whom you may not really want to love. Learn to see someone else’s point of view, even if it isn’t something you agree with. Live in love and make it part of the story you continue to write every day. Be the change you want to see in the world today.
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”William Shakespeare “All’s Well that Ends Well”
Could showing love to the perpetrators have saved those massacred recently? Who knows. But we need more than just thoughts and prayers in this world to mend it. Whatever your thoughts on what may help, one thing is certain. We need more love in this world. We need people who are willing to show their strength not with actions of hate, vitriol and violence, but with kindness, compassion and so much love it blinds the anger and causes changes of heart.
“In the name of love, what more in the name of love.”U2 “Pride”
What I can’t answer for everyone is what that love might look like for anyone else. But for me, I will certainly try to continue to be love, do love, and live love as much as I can. I may not be perfect, but I can show as much love and compassion to others as possible. And I will certainly try my best to be kind to anyone I can in this little swath of the Midwest.
After all, it’s part of the magic of my stories. And it’s part of the magic I continue to write as I write my own story.
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