December 12     

Today's quotation:

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.  That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody's business.  What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.

Thomas Merton

Today's Meditation:

"Love others."  That's it, really-- the main reason that we're here.  We like to love the people who are close to us, our families and friends and close acquaintances.  We like to give them things like gifts and caring and the benefit of the doubt.  We like less to give and share love with people who aren't so close to us, especially people who seem to us to be disagreeable or even dangerous.  The sad thing about this is that many people who seem to be disagreeable or dangerous seem that way because of a lack of love in their lives, and guess what a bit of love might provide?

When we share love, we share the best part of ourselves and we make others feel loved, which is one of the most important feelings of all in the human experience.  And we are bound by our shared humanity to share that love-- in our families, at our jobs and schools, in the supermarkets, on the highway when we're locked away inside our cars and we feel isolated from everyone else.  We can still share love then.  Giving love to others is simply consistently making the decision to respond in a loving way to whatever happens to us.

The loving way, of course, isn't always easy, especially after someone has just done something to upset us or anger us.  We have a choice in those situations to respond in kind--to do something harsh to them to anger them-- or to respond with love.  Don't worry-- love doesn't mean giving the person a hug and telling them you forgive them.  Sometimes the loving response can simply be to not say anything at all; I've been in many situations in which any words at all would have made things much worse.  My silence was the most effective tool I had, even though someone else might have seen my silence as being weak.  Personally, I saw it as being as strong as I could be.

Let's spread love, and especially let's spread love to those people who need it the most.  I don't have to invite them into my home and give them the best I have of everything I have.  Perhaps the love I show will be in the form of a sincere compliment.  Maybe it will be in offering them help with what they're doing.  It could be shown in the form of forgiveness.  Whichever form it takes, we can be satisfied to know that we're contributing to the love and the positive energy of the world, and not to the negative things that fill so much of life.

Questions to consider:

What do the words "our job is to love others" mean to you?

How might we show love to those people who most need it?

Why do we need to accept people as they are in order to truly love them?

For further thought:

When we love a person, we accept him or her exactly as is:  the lovely with the unlovely, the strong along with the fearful, the true mixed in with the façade, and of course, the only way we can do it is by accepting ourselves that way.

Fred Rogers

more thoughts and ideas on love



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