I think many of us take love for granted. We don’t realize just how beautiful it is—to love and be loved—until something shakes our world. Whether it be heartbreak, the loss of a loved one, or just a bad day, we don’t fully appreciate the company of friends, a caring listener, or just a warm hug until we need it the most.
Our world is witness to the destruction of other, lesser emotions. Emotions such as greed, hatred, bitterness, loneliness, anger…all of these have changed the world into something none of us wants. Crying children and sobbing parents fill our news reports; financial collapses and families in peril scour our headlines; tragedy in nations abroad and back home grave marks into the tablets our history.
And yet, in the midst of everything, there is always a courageous story to be told; stories of justice, stories of peace, and most importantly, stories of love. These are the stories we want to hear and the ones we keep with us. You see, others’ lives are shaping ours as well. And as we carry those stories with us, we are creating our own and in turn shaping the lives of others.
I want to believe that despite all the faults etched in each of our pasts, we can always still hold onto the hope of a better us one day. Sometimes we are burdened by the chains of our pasts or discouraged by the thought of an impassable future laid out before us. Sometimes the world tries to make us believe that such emotions as love are for the weak—that true strength is to stand unwavering and unaffected amidst overwhelming circumstances. I believe that anyone can act strong alone. But only truly courageous people can say they need a little help. The one truth among all truths in any religion and every creed is this: life is difficult. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. But when we hold onto each other and choose to walk through life together, it can be a beautiful thing. Every stumbling block we step over, every snag we pull out of, every abyss we manage to crawl out of all become a testament to the power and beauty of love. No one is alone and no one should ever feel like they have to be.
One must ask, “Why does it feel so good to love? Why does it feel so good to be loved?” It’s because we were built for it. Humans are designed to be compassionate beings, lifting each other higher and higher upon one another’s shoulders. It’s the only human quality that can sustain itself and make the world a better place at the same time. The beauty of love is that when you choose to believe in another person you give them the power to believe in themself as well. The gift goes on, and it passes from person to person until someone stops it along the line.
So what’s the message? Don’t be afraid to pass it! Don’t be afraid to accept it! Don’t be afraid to start it!
Of course, as most things in life, this is easier said than done. We are a world away from a perfect world. We can only do so much. So where do we start? How do we start loving? Let’s start in our homes. Let’s start in the relationships that are closest to us. Let’s bring our love to the workplace. Let’s take our love to our schools. Then let’s take it farther. Let’s not be afraid to give a stranger a smile or a beggar a coin. Let’s not be afraid to help someone we don’t even know continents away. Most of all, let’s not forget to demonstrate our love for those whom we claim to love already. It’s easy to take those closest for granted.
This Christmas I want to challenge both everyone and myself to love once more. Maybe we’ve been disappointed before. Perhaps we don’t want to know the pain of loss once more. Or maybe you just feel embarassed. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my disappointments, it’s that fear is the enemy of love. I’ve learned what it’s like to hurt and now I can truly appreciate real, agape love for what it’s worth and give thanks. I know how important love is to me. Now I want to give this important thing to others. Here’s to a beautiful tomorrow and and the people we’ll share it with. Cheers.