Is Love All You Need?
Growing up in the generation where the Beatles told us, "All you need is love", I cannot help but wonder, what went wrong. From 1967 when this song was released, until now, there have been more wars, murders, racism and ethnic cleansing around the world then anyone from 1967 could have contemplated. Even the Olympics, the athletic games which are supposed to unite us all, suffered from the violence in Munich as well as the thousands of athletes cheating using performance enhancing drugs. Some people have even claimed God was on their side as they waged their "Holy Wars" around our tiny planet killing and terrorizing all in their path. What will have to happen for the people on earth to realize that in order to change the future, they cannot live in the past?
Albert Einstein said, "The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them." I am convinced that the current political leadership around the world, with the possible exception of Donald Trump who has no experience, has bought into the historical model. The only solution is a peaceful revolution, which is dependent on every person making a conscious decision to love on purpose. In this context I am not just encouraging everyone to take the 21-day plan with your significant other, but just demonstrating our humanity to each person you meet.
There has been a young man working in the underground parking garage of my office building. He has been re-routing electrical conduit for the fire alarm system. The reason I know is because I stopped to ask him. He had been gracious enough to move his equipment out of my way three times in a two-hour stretch, so I thought I should thank him. I won’t mention our whole conversation, but as we parted he said, "Thank you for stopping and talking to me". As I rode up the elevator and then walked into my office, I couldn't stop smiling. Think about how often we pass people that are engaged in some kind of activity which makes them invisible, and we never get to say hello. We miss the opportunity to reach out in an unconditional loving way.
Flash mobs, buying a coffee for the person in line behind you, a hand written thank you note, looking in someone's eyes instead of your phone during a conversation, these are all actions which put the person first, this is love. Love is an inside job. Yes, you will feel warm when someone loves you, but you feel so much more of an endorphin rush when you love someone else. If every person, every day, just put one other person first for 5 minutes we would change the world. The powerful effect of connection between people will give us the chance to heal the haters and stop the petty conflicts which so quickly escalate.
As a Christian, I am always concerned at Christmas when we pray for peace. God acts through each one of us which, which means each of one of us is responsible for peace. Time to get off our knees and into action. There is only joy when we lift someone else's fear, there is only hope when we lift someone else's fear, there is only love when we love someone else, and there is only peace when others feel hope, joy and love. Perhaps John was correct after all when he said, "All you need is Love.