I think about, talk about and write about love a lot -- the power of love, the importance of love, the necessity of love, the anything and everything to do with love. It's my favorite subject and the thing, I believe, that matters the most in our world. The one thing that can change all other things for the better.
A friend recently asked me the following questions:
"Do you believe love is making or can make any real difference with all the ugliness in this world? What can love really do to help stop wars and famine and oppression and all the other atrocities that exist?"
My answers: Yes and Everything.
I believe love is making the most difference with all the ugliness in this world, and that only when more of us commit ourselves to living from love will we see the many atrocities we live with start to fade away.
My friend's not alone in what I feel he was suggesting with his questions. Many think it's naive to focus on love, that's there's no real power for change in love, and that simply working to love more deeply and spread the message of love doesn't really do much of anything. I've had the same thoughts, the same concerns. Not anymore, though. I think it's naive not to focus on love, that love is the necessary beginning to everything worthwhile and the single most powerful contributor to positive change we have.
What is more powerful than love in action?
When we live from love, we love nature.
We care about what happens to our planet and acknowledge the ways in which we're harming our environment, so we can make choices that best serve it, for this and future generations.
When we live from love, we love ourselves.
We take care of our minds and bodies as best we can and rely less on predatory pharmaceutical companies and an overwhelmed and overpriced health care industry to do so.
When we live from love, we love and accept each other.
We support and care for one another, embrace rather than condemn our differences and raise children who recognize that deeper than any race or religion, we are all human beings faced with the same unpredictable, often painful task of being human, and that we are all equal and worthy of compassion and respect.
When we live from love, we commit ourselves to peace.
We make war not just rare but impossible, and mandate that governments figure out peaceful and humane ways to resolve their differences, translating into far fewer deaths, much less hatred and billions of dollars that can be directed towards things that benefit all -- like education, health care and the environment.
When we live from love, we choose kindness and happiness over wealth and power.
We elect politicians who strive for the former rather than covet the latter, and make the needs of people more important and necessary than those of cooperations.
When we live from love, we encourage free creative expression.
We invite children and adults alike to embrace their individuality and artistry, and thereby broaden and beautify the human experience for us all.
When we live from love, we live beyond fear.
We live beyond that which creates all of the problems on this planet and stifles the most important human instincts -- kindness, compassion, peace, creativity and forgiveness -- all of which are born from love.
Really, what is more powerful than love as a positive agent of change in our world? What stands to make the most difference in every area that matters?
As people grow in their love -- of themselves and of each other -- they change, they become more aligned with a certain universal understanding that love is the starting point from which every good thing reveals itself. The point of it all is to love. This is power. This is where our focus needs to be. Now and always. All else falls into place from here.
Consider everything that would rarely exist in a world ruled by love: murder, abuse, slavery, rape, oppression, war, bigotry, famine, homelessness. It is not naive to give your energy to the one thing that can eradicate these horrors. It is necessary.
It's silly to have titled this piece "In Defense of Love." Love needs no defense. We've all experienced its power. We all know its capabilities. Still, we resist embracing it as THE agent of change. Still, we turn to violence and war, hatred and bigotry, knowing in our hearts these things lead us nowhere good.
We need to wake up -- each and every one of us -- and keep love as the guiding force behind, within and for everything we do on this planet. We need always to be asking ourselves, "How can I love more deeply in this moment? How can I reflect my actions through love?" Protest, debate, speak, write, march, volunteer, work, do whatever it is you're doing to change our world positively. Just try to do it from love. Let love support the sadness and frustration and anger we feel about all of the injustices in our world. Let love be the beginning, the seed from which everything else grows. Then, certainly, everything else will grow into something much more just and beautiful than it is now.
That's the singular power of love.