Saturday, September 1, 2012

Where is the love?

(pardon me, this ain't your usual post...)

While there are so many good things, good people, good deeds in the world, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by the not-so-good things I see on the news every day. I’m not one to go around quoting the Bible, even though I grew up going to church Sunday mornings, Sunday nights and Wednesday nights…I pretty much hated it. I respect all religions and your right to believe what you want to believe. But I must admit that there are some things that I still carry with me, some of which as an adult I’ve realized are interestingly paralleled in the teachings of other religions as well. John 13:34-35 says “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (And in my own interpretation, that “new command” is one that trumps other commands…right?) And then in 1st Corinthians 13:13 it reads, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

But what if we really lived like that ?

---What if we put the guns down for good in our neighborhoods? And what if gun shop owners or those who make guns realized that there couldn’t possibly be a need for this many guns?

---What if we respected the earth, and aimed to preserve its beauty and wonder for our children, and our children’s children?

---What if we loved all of our children and valued their futures so much that we made sure that no child in the world’s richest country was ever the recipient of a substandard education?

---What if we shared our riches so that no child, mother or man in this world ever wondered where their next meal would come from?

---What if we made sure no mother or father worked 40 hours a week only to earn a minimum wage that landed them thousands of dollars below the poverty line?

---What if we protected our children and elders from predators, users and abusers?

---What if politicians and legislators cared beyond the 6 months leading up to an election?

---What if we recognized love for what it is and didn’t attempt to define it within the context of our own limited understanding or experience? Love is simply love, who am I to tell you who you can love? Why would I try to extinguish that?

---What if we treated those different from us with the same honor and respect that we want for ourselves…or our children?

---What if slavery never happened? What if a man named Hitler was stopped before he even started?

What if we just simply followed that one command, love one another? The world would be a better place. I can’t change the world, but I can change myself, and I can teach my girls these things.

Life is Love, by William Johnson Fox (1786-1864)

The fair varieties of earth,

The heavens serene and blue above,

The rippling smile of might seas--

What is the charm of all, but love?

By love they minister to thought,

Love makes them breathe the poet’s song;

When their Creator best is praised,

Tis love inspires the adoring throng.

Knowledge, and power, and will supreme,

Are but celestial tyranny,

Til they are consecrate by love,

The essence of divinity.

For love is strength, and faith, and hope;

It crowns with bliss our mortal state;

And, glancing far beyond the grave,

Foresees a life of endless date.

That life is love; and all of life

Time or eternity can prove;

Both men and angels, worms and gods

Exist in universal love.

Since last Thursday, a mere 9 days ago, 82 people have been shot in Chicago. 82! What are we doing? Where is the love? Where are we headed to in this world? Don’t we owe it to our children to change? I met this sweet baby today who is just 5 months old. What kind of world are we handing over to him? We are failing him miserably. And that makes me incredibly sad.


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