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Let’s reconsider love

In the past few days as I have listened to the voices of concern that are speaking across our community and the larger national community and the world, I am totally convinced that our greatest source of salvation is connected to the power of love.

Perhaps you are wondering how love can benefit us as a community when it comes to the many challenges that face us. Or you might think that love is too small to impact crime, economic blight, racism, sexism, homophobia, political polarization, greed, disregard for the environment and all of the other challenges that haunt us day by day.

I agree that we have to ponder whether or not love is strong enough to have any impact in our world. But for all of us who claim to walk by faith and not sight, it is a concept that has to be included in the way that we view the world.

All of our religions speak profoundly about the necessity to love one another as God loves us and to seek the path of love as we go about our lives. Unfortunately, we have allowed our perception of power and its effort to handle every situation to move us away from the notion of love as a mediating factor in all situations.

We have come to believe in our social, economic and political status more than our spiritual connection to God and one another. The power of love moves across the lines of division and leads to building bridges and roads that can lead to new ways of living together.

This is not some kind of sentimental nonsense rooted in warm fuzzy emotions. No, I am speaking about a tough- minded intention to be open to life with all of its intricacies. The intention to support the well-being of every person among us at any given time. A willingness to allow others to have an opportunity to go before us. A genuine commitment to justice for everyone. The willingness to care about life enough to stand against the death that comes from greed, promoting negativity or allowing anyone to be demeaned in any manner for any reason.

Of course, we have much work to do to change the course of our behavior. We have become addicted to negativity. We are allowing our fear to manifest as rage which is quite destructive and needs to be brought under control. Love replaces fear. But it cannot replace it unless the fearful person is open to the path of love.

While it is not clear how many among us would create the road ahead, it is rather clear that we have to make many drastic changes in this community and throughout our country if we want to have a better quality of life for everyone. The idea that some of us can be well and thriving while most of us go down whatever drain there is to fall into is not viable. In many ways, our community and our country will only be as strong as it weakest citizens.

We cannot afford the way we are living when we know our path is not sustainable. In part, it is that knowledge that feeds the raging fear that runs across this community and the country. Everything has to change and will change whether we like it or not. But we can determine how the change impacts us by choosing a better approach to the way we interact with one another.

We have the power to choose love. Love is the energy that seeks justice, mercy and equality. It is the quality of heart that makes all of us concern ourselves with the common good.

It demands that we consider the whole and not just our little part of the whole. It seeks unity. It is courageous and it is filled with hope. It cannot be destroyed.

This column by Catherine Meeks, Ph.D., appears twice monthly. Meeks is also a contributing writer for the Huffington Post. E-mail her at kayma53@att.net.