If you take a look around the world, you might find love. You might also find war and hunger. I would like to make a case for love.
For reasons unknown to even me, I have been to a few places other than my home. I enjoy books and discussions from traditions outside of my upbringing.
I have never done psychedelic drugs, but my mind has been blown a few times. Though I would hesitate to identify with any particular religion, I enjoy hearing stories from them all.
There was a time when I wanted the world to experience what I experienced. In some ways, I suppose, that is still the case.
Not through any ritual or program, but by enjoying anything as much as I have enjoyed my life so far.
Some people might look at my life and wonder what could possibly be so good. Some people might look at my life and want everything I have.
That is how it goes with us humans. In an instant we are able to judge whether anything… and I mean anything… is good or bad.
Somehow we miss the obvious.
Love feels better than hatred or apathy. Love is such a powerful thing, but it is also an elusive thing.
When I was a teenager, the Southern Baptists campaigned that “True Love Waits”. It was an effort to keep kids from experiencing sex before marriage.
My suspicion is that it simply prolonged the experience, while providing years of guilt and shame to millions of young hearts and minds. But, in a real sense, true love does wait.
I know this is true from years of running from love and always finding it at my bedside the next morning. I did not see it in any particular form, but I have seen it in many forms.
Always smiling and whispering, “it is a new day.”
In some real way, the Universe fills the atmosphere with infinite possibilities. We can, literally, make love out of thin air.
This morning a friend from high school posted a cartoon I drew over thirty years ago. Evidently, I drew it in some class and it still brings her joy.
I am not a scholar. I am not an intellectual. It makes complete sense that I drew it in class and gave it to her afterwards.
Her father also taught at that school and once asked me to draw a picture. One of my friends mentions a tattoo I drew on her arm.
Another friend and I used to draw knights. He has recently passed, but I still have some of the crazy sets of armor we designed.
What were we doing, other than creating love out of thin air?
Other Examples of Love
Whether it is the offering of a cigarette, the changing of a tire, an ear for a story of happiness or woe, or a simple smile, I have done it all. Not just as the giver, but the one that receives.
Once I gave a pair of shoes away. Once I needed a pair of shoes.
I have given money away and I have needed gasoline to make it back home. I have been a caretaker and I have needed care.
There have been times when I fed the hungry and there have been other times when someone fed me.
None of these examples is extraordinary. Most likely you could say the same or similar things.
What might be more unique to me is the fact that after my divorce in 2007, my wife and I quickly got back together. We offer the fact that the divorce did not work out.
There are also the kids, which I had no part in creating, but that I love very much. I suspect they feel the same for me.
Where Is the Love?
Consider the song by the Black Eyed Peas, “Where Is the Love”. They point out some of the recurring themes of hatred.
Here is what they offer as a solution. “Have love to set it straight, take control of your mind and meditate, let your soul gravitate to the love.”
Maybe the question is “where is it not?”
We live in a world of fear if you believe the hype. People might be tempted to give up, give in, or give out.
Is there love in a pandemic? You might ask my friend who spends countless hours caring for patients.
Is there love in a world governed by corporate greed? You might ask my friend who is knee deep in spreadsheets, but still tells jokes.
Love, is in fact, everywhere. At least the ingredients are there.
We get to create it and we get to decide what the final product looks like.
I draw as a way to meditate. I always have.
As I make some doodle or jot down some thought, I send love into the world. Does it work?
I kind of think it does. I do it because it means something to me. That’s a lot like the dream people have for themselves. Doing the things they love for the sake of love.
Nothing about me wants to be a starving artist, and I might have to get a normal job, but for now, this is my life.
Drawing simple cartoons for the sake of simple art. It has been a grand experiment.
Cartoons are easy to digest and simple to understand. You can check out a lot of them on the Facebook page.
Love Exposes Truth
In the two months I have been without employment, and in the middle of a pandemic, truth comes up. Some of it is my own and some of it is in others.
In fairness, if you try sending a picture of a giraffe with a peace symbol to an HR Director who is hopping mad, your going to expose his intent and you are asking for more. If you share words of compassion with a boss that believes he has cornered truth, you will need a resume.
While that all seems like a story about others, it is really a story about the truth of myself. In some ways, I do not want to live in a world where compassion is not welcome.
It is easy to blame the world, or employers, or the news, or your spouse, for unease. It is easy to believe politicians and celebrities are responsible for larger issues.
The truth is that there is only love. There is only love and we either create more of it or we react to it with fear.
Mostly we react with fear. At least I do.
Final Case for Love
We need more love.
Without going into all of the woes of the world and the hardships the lack of love brings, we simply need more love.
It can be an act of grace or forgiveness. It might even be an act of charity. Often, it leaves a person feeling like they are important in whatever world they live.
And they are.
Maybe a positive comment or a random note. For me it is cartoons, but for others it might be brownies. It is as much the sharing of a smile as it is the creation of a smile.
Love matters. Love wins.
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