January 2    

Today's quotation:

Let us not be satisfied with just giving money.  Money is not enough; money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them.  So, spread your love everywhere you go; first of all in your own home.  Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next-door neighbor.

Mother Teresa

Today's Meditation:

There's so much that we can give in life that has nothing to do with money or material goods.  It's very kind and considerate to give money and material goods to people who need it, of course, but material and financial needs are not necessarily as important as our need for love.  We all need to be loved, and many of the ills of our societies result from the actions of people who haven't received enough love in their lives.  The feeling of being unloved causes much heartbreak and depression, and can cause people to do things that they probably wouldn't do if they felt loved.

How can we give love?  I ask myself this question a lot.  Can I give love without making others feel uncomfortable?  Can I give love in appropriate ways?  Can I give love to complete strangers?

I think I can do so, and I try to as much as I can.  I try to spread love with kind words and a smile.  I try to spread love by listening when people talk, without trying to put in my own two cents' worth.  I try to spread love by performing truly anonymous acts of kindness.  I try to spread love by saying a silent, private prayer when I see people in need.  I try to spread love through service, through encouragement, through compliments, and through anything else that can be seen as a positive contribution to another person's life--no matter how small or insignificant it may seem to be.

Spreading love is much like teaching--we usually don't see the results of our efforts.  If the love is true, though, we don't need to see the results.  And when we practice spreading our love in these ways, people get to know us as loving people--and then they become much more receptive to the love that we're trying to give.

Questions to consider:

In what ways do you try to spread love?

Think of someone you know as a loving person.  What kinds of things does this person do to make you consider him or her to be so loving?

What are some of the reasons you might find for not spreading love?  How legitimate are these reasons?  If you don't spread your love because of these reasons, can your love be unconditional?

For further thought:

The roots of love sink down and deep and strike out far, and they are arteries that feed our lives, so we must see that they get the water and sun they need so they can nourish us.  And when you put something good into the world, something good comes back to you.

Merle Shain



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