To unify, empower and raise up one group of people above all others, also means you’re segregating, excluding and putting down other fellow, amazing and precious human beings.
By reaching out with kindness, respect, inclusion and love to those who don’t necessarily look like you, or share your specific beliefs, is the far greater act of true wisdom and what love actually looks like in action. How can we expect to have hope and peace in the world if we don’t extend love to those outside of our self-similar circles?
Love is not just being polite, or nice, it’s far deeper than that. Think about those you deeply and truly love in your world. Picture that warm, happiness that comes over you just at the thought of them. Now imagine sharing that kind of love, the kind that chooses to see beyond oppositions, the kind of love that makes you genuinely smile, and learn to forgive. There is no hatred in unconditional love, no segregation, no angry words. Love is a change we choose for ourselves. It is only ourselves that we can change (not others), and by doing so, we contain the power to bring love beyond our comfortable circle.
It’s easy to love those who love you, who act and look like you and share your believes and values. If we only love those within our comfortable circle, have we really changed anything in the world?
True unconditional love is usually the far more difficult choice. It’s harder to forgive than to become angry. It takes effort to seek out truth and understanding in an opposing viewpoint. It requires self-awareness and self-control to refuse to be baited by anger, rage or violence. It takes patience to truly listen with the intention of compassion. Recognizing that we may not know everything about every circumstance, requires us to sit in a place of humility. Yet these difficult actions increase our wealth of wisdom and love.
Love is not an obscure, mushy emotion; love is an action. To truly love unconditionally, one must be brave, and act through intrepid courage to extend our hands and hearts across lines we once drew or believed were there. Many claim to love; yet segregate their own preferred group, while excluding that love from anyone who opposes them. In effect, doing the exact thing they claim to hate (divisive segregation, bias, judgment, anger, fear and hatred toward a specific group of people). Unfortunately, the path to unconditional love is often a lonely one, as few choose the difficult path of humility, empathy and truly open forgiveness.
Love is not a slogan, a t-shirt, a victory march through the streets, a rally or demonstration. Love is not extended through protest signs, loudspeakers or the burning of property. It is the quiet, soft, outstretched arms in the face of opposing beliefs, the uniting of people as valuable and priceless human beings. It’s the smile, the acts of true kindness and help that we provide to those outside of our circles (not just within them). It’s abiding by the golden rule of treating others the way we want to be treated. Like so many good things in life, true love takes desire, effort and lots of practice. It does not come easily or with an army. It takes patience, long moments of deep, honest, self-evaluation and humility. This kind of wisdom and inner growth does not come while our fists are raised, but when our heads are bowed.
We do have the power to change the world. We begin the momentum of change by what we choose to feed our minds and hearts. Love is the power that can unite, cleanse and heal. Love bonds us through acts of kindness, bringing joy, hope and peace.
Take a deep, cleansing breath in and exhale slowly. Repeat as needed. Let go of anger and resentment. Feel your shoulders relax, and all the muscles from your head, down to your feet, become softer and gentle. Let loving kindness fill you from the inside out. Breathe in the cleansing power of love, forgiveness and compassion… for ALL human beings. As you reach out with loving arms to someone outside your comfort zone today, let love be the most memorable thing others remember, every time they interact with you.