Today is the day we celebrate love. Valentines day.
Through social media we have become ardent speakers of love. On television we watch programs on love. There is true love, blind love, painful love, tough love, love for your children, dogs and friends. Even love of the supernatural, the unnatural and the bizarre. Indeed, it seems like there is a lot to celebrate.
Yet the world seems more void of love than ever. It is as if the more we speak of it, the less power it holds in our lives. The less we are able to love. And without love we start to redefine everything around us. Everything is taken for granted, most things are just taken.
What happened to “love thy neighbor”? Did we slowly but surely decide that we no longer need other people in the world? We intellectualise world-wide problems of hunger, war and oppression. We talk about them, even occasionally donate a few coins to alleviate the guilt or out of hope that it will help. But we are strangely detached from these issues. We no longer believe to be part of the problem and therefore struggle to find our place in the solution. We simply forgot to love other things than our inner circle. And without that love there is no compassion.
Besides the obvious need around the world for understanding, education, food and water, what this world really needs is love. We need to start loving ourselves with a greater degree of acceptance and eventually extend that love to our neighbours. Imagine if success was measured on your ability to love instead of your ability to amass fortunes. If love and compassion was revered as a first-rate quality in a person the same way business sense and ambition is today. Imagine how much we humans could achieve if we stopped smirking at those few “softies” who bleed their heart out for the world and instead chose to be inspired by them to shape us all in a happier loving image.
Imagine how much power love could give you to change the world.
I follow Dalai Lama on twitter because about once a week there is a post reminding me to hold on to love and compassion. I believe we all need that kind of inspiration.
And so I hope I can inspire you. To love thy neighbour if you can. To extend that love as much as you can. And to hold on to that love while you still can.
And if you still want to spend an obscene amount of money to prove to everyone that you can love on valentine’s day. Please spend the money on something worthy. Like: Save the children, Doctors without borders, UNICEF, Amnesty International or one of the many other fine organisations who try to do the compassionate work, we all should be doing.