All You Need is Love


Two days ago, a friend of mine posted this on Facebook in response to yet another graphic video depicting recent violence in the U.S.

I try hard not to post/commend on every upsetting thing I see in the news but this here is unreal. I feel thankful to live in a country where things of this nature doesn’t (sic) happen as often but it also makes me feel helpless. What can we do besides post, share & discuss? I’m serious. How do we fellow humans help make this world better and not worse?

I saw many similar messages posted over the weekend. People heartbroken by the events taking place, and frustrated that they don’t know how to help, engage, or enact change.

I don’t pretend to have the answer. Certainly not the answer. I’m not even sure one exists, because saying there is one singular answer, one magic solution to the mess the world seems to be in, seems patently absurd. Life, unfortunately, isn’t that tidy. There are so many complexities at play and I’m an expert in none of them, so why am I even offering my two cents?

Well for starters, I may not be an expert in class or race, politics, legislation, or gun control, but I am a human who inhabits this earth – an earth that seems, as of late, to be overrun by tragedy and senseless acts of violence. And I’m not sure what the answer is to the problem, but I can offer one possible solution to the question, how do we fellow humans help make this world better and not worse? The answer is love.

Some of you right now are rolling your eyes and writing me off as a tree-hugging hippie. Fair enough, but I’m not talking about staging a love-in or giving hugs to strangers you meet on the street. I’m talking about simply speaking, thinking, and acting from a place of love. Every one of us has both the power and the responsibility to spread love in the world. It’s as simple as looking someone in the eye and saying hello. Offering a smile instead of a sneer. Holding the door for someone, letting them merge into your lane during rush hour, or saying thank you and meaning it. There are literally hundreds of things we could do every day to make the world just a tiny bit better, for at least the one person on the receiving end of that act. Perhaps if we try, we could make some progress, even just an inch.

Do I live by these ideals on a daily basis? No, I’m human, I make mistakes. I snap at my mother when she calls me as I’m running out the door. I get epic road rage in traffic jams. I’ve been known to take my frustrations out on telemarketers, the customer service reps at my cell phone company, and yes, definitely my friends (thank god they’re a forgiving lot). But just because I’m not always successful doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try. We all should.

It might not solve the world’s problems or make what’s happening south of the border – not to mention all over the world – seem any less tragic or confounding, but there is nothing to be gained by spreading negativity, hatred, and fear. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 

So there are my two cents. Take them as you will. Thank you for reaching the end and today, as you go about the start of your week, with your children, your partner, your parents, your friends, your coworkers, your boss, the guy who serves you your morning cappuccino, or the parking attendant you’ll encounter later in the day, please treat them kindly, give them a smile, and remember that all you need is love.

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