Well. I've been having quite a time lately. I tell you what. A real time.
No need to get into all the soul-rending details. Just know that I've been very focused on trying (and succeeding!) to maintain a steady level of love, compassion, acceptance, peace, and positivity in the face of all obstacles and evils.
So I had this thought.
At the core of everything, I pretty much believe in one thing: positive feelings. Be happy, and make others happy, too, no matter what. And a lot of people seem to agree with me. One of the most common messages I ever see preached is some version of "spread the love".
But here's the thing: we need to think about what "love" means. Especially since we've got this whole "love the person, hate the act" thing going on these days, I can't help but feel that people are missing out on some very fundamental positive feelings when they stop at this concept of unconditional "love" and fail to try to continue on to "like".
See, that's the problem: You can love someone without liking them. But you can't like someone without loving them.
Now, I'm not talking about "like" and "love" as different levels of the same emotion here, obviously. I'm not talking about "I like this movie, but I don't love it". I'm talking about two separate concepts entirely. I'm defining "love" as something along the lines of "I recognize your inherent worth as a human being, even if we disagree", and I'm defining "like" as, straight up, "you make me joyful".
See, one of those concepts by definition makes you happy, and one of them, if you spin it right, can be...kind of cold. Pretty unhappy, even. Now, whoever thought "love" could make you unhappy!
So my point is this: When you're out there in the world, looking at all these people, seeing how different they all are from you, thinking how much you don't have in common, how far apart you are in terms of upbringing or whatever, how different your opinions are and how different your values, don't try to say, "But I love them, so I have to tolerate them." Stop, and work hard, and try to say instead, "But you know what? There's something about them I really like. There's something about them that makes me downright glad they're here."
I mean sure, yeah, you can love the whole world. That's easy as pie. You can wish the best for all of us in one fell swoop and think nothing of it. But can you like the whole world? Can you look at every individual person and somehow find a way to not disagree with them? To not feel different from them? To be downright joyful about their existence?
That might be a lot harder. But if you ask me, it's a lot more powerful.
So let's see what we can do about it, eh? Much love, all. Thanks.