I have written and deleted five posts for this month’s 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. Why? This month’s topic is very simple, love. Love, in many ways is the root of compassion. Without love, people would only help others for selfish reasons. For a person to have real compassion they need to feel for the others, that is they need empathy. But more than that, they need to love the other person. We recognize the shared bond, we understand that we are all brothers and sisters and that our wellbeing depends on the welfare of others. Through this love we can then hold our hand out in compassion. That is how love fits in the equation.
Simple, right? But is it?
We have used the word “love” in so many ways. Some use it to gain power over others or gain a type of “religious street creds”. Other people, with black and white thinking, use it to actually show what they hate. To some it has little meaning beyond “sex”. All of us use it very casually. “I love chocolate/pizza/that song/how you did your hair/snow/summer/autumn leaves/etc.”
I don’t want to talk about any of these. I want to talk about the love for a fellow human that makes a person risk their life for a stranger. The love that causes a starving man to share his last crumb of food. It is love that causes the sick old lady to give up her seat to the frazzled young mother with the baby in her arm and a toddler underfoot. Love is what causes us to cry when we hear about a person of a different religion, a different color and on the far side of the globe being senselessly killed. And yet it causes us to cry when a seemingly callous person performs a great kindness.
It is the acceptance of people as they are. It is the knowledge of shared humanity, that the poorest person in the world is my brother, the richest my sister. Love celebrates and acknowledges the differences, and recognizes the similarities.
This is the love I want to write about. That I’ve tried so unsuccessfully to put to page five different times in the last 24 hours.
And yet the words just aren’t flowing.
Why is unromantic, real love for our fellow humans so hard to write about?
Perhaps because there is so little of it in the world.
Let us cherish the love we do find. Let us be the seeds for the garden of love and help it spread. Perhaps one day I will sit down to write and the words will flow because I can’t help but see the evidence around me every day.
This post is part of the 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. I’ve had a personal vision of compassion that I’ve been sharing on most of my posts on the subject:
Empathy is the glue that holds society together and compassion is what makes a group of people a civilization. Without holding our hands out to our fellow humans we become savages. We are all in this together, in a closed system, so we must all help each other. How lonely life must be for those selfish people who don’t realize this simple truth! How lonely for anyone who doesn’t realize that all are our brothers and sisters! How lonely must the self-righteous be!
Find out more about this movement. See the 1000 Voices Speak blogsite and the Facebook page. And add your voice to our 1000 voices all speaking about compassion! To see more for this month or add your post, see the “Linky”