America’s troubadour, James Taylor, sings, “shower the ones you love with love.”
In a world punctuated by war and strife, driven and fueled by the wanton passions of greed, conquest, and self-adulation, we can find healing only in the balm of love, sweet love. As Burt Bacharach wrote, “It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”
The opposite of love
Fear, not hate, is the opposite of love. Hate is a by-product of fear.
Fear focuses on loss, and no one wants to lose anything. Ideologies that scare followers into a state of protectionism usually engage others as adversaries who threaten to steal away valuable resources or liberties. Such adversaries are to be identified, separated out, and kept at a safe distance, if not eliminated altogether. They are to be hated.
Hate shows itself in vilification (it’s their fault, they caused this, they are the enemy), denigration (they are losers, disgusting, unworthy), and, aggression (we must take back what is ours, and eye-for-an-eye, get them before they get us, they deserve to be punished). And on it goes.
Leaders who feast on your fear subjugate you to their power, because they convince you that only they can save you. They tell you not to go out into the world, not to befriend or trust those who are different from you, not to listen to those politically correct, feckless, kumbaya losers. Who needs hope when you’ve got more muscle?
Tyrants know the only way they stay in power is to keep groups of people fighting each other. All that’s driving the rage are the ambitions of a few power hungry individuals convincing the populace that they need to be afraid of the other guy who is out to get them. It’s my opinion that 95% of the world’s problems are caused by 0.0001% of the world’s population.
These fear mongers scoff at love, because to them it’s weak. And they know it’s the only thing that can bring them down.
The power of love is that it sees every person as an individual with hopes, and dreams, and passion–just like you. Love regards each and every life as equally valuable without exception. When you regard every life as equally valuable and precious as yours, it makes one wonder why all the fighting? How do we just stop it?
When you reduce life to the number one wish, it’s that we all want someone to love, and to be loved in return. When you have that one thing, your life has meaning. That’s all it really takes.
When we all reach out in love to those within our sphere of influence, we can conquer the world with hugs and smiles. Love conquers fear. With nothing to fear, there’s no reason to fight.
According the theory of six degrees of separation, it’s entirely possible to save the world by reaching out to those closest to us. See what I mean from this YouTube video on the Veritasium channel.
Thank you, James, for reminding us that love is powerful and healing and is what we need now more than ever. As you sing:
show them the way you feel.
Things are gonna be much better if you only will.
P.S. James Taylor is a 2016 recipient of the 36th Kennedy Center Honors for his contributions to the arts.