Valentine’s Day is around the corner and people have started to decorate with hearts, and pink ribbons. A lot of Teddy bears and chocolates will go around and while we immerse ourselves in a sugar coated version of love, one wonders what real love is all about.
Is love related to give and receive presents, sometimes-unnecessary ones? Or is it a day to spend on extraordinary items instead of daily ordinary acts of love?
Because love is a day-to-day action, but can we have love only for those whom we are interested in? That is do we separate the world between those who we care about because they are our ‘own people’, and those we don’t even take into consideration because they are not related to us, or our interests.
We were told to love our neighbors as ourselves. I wonder if when we think of this, we end up loving what we don’t have. Loving all the qualities that we lack and not accepting who we are. Even more the second step is that we decide that our neighbors are only the ones around us, for the people with the same interests, money, social status, education, etc.
Because we are not seeing the other, we cannot have any fond feelings for someone that we don’t know or care to know.
What is true love anyway, and “which neighbors” are we called to love? How does it look, in practical terms, to love our neighbors just as much as we love ourselves?
1 Corinthians 13:3-7 says: If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[a] but do not have love, I gain nothing
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love is not arrogant, Doesn’t have a swelled head. Doesn’t force itself on others. Isn’t always “me first, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others are down, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always. Always looks for the best. Never looks back, but keeps going to the end.
All this has one thing in common. They are actions coming from feelings. In general we make big emphasis in how we feel and we do not move to act on those feelings, while thanking for the opportunity to grow by been there for others.
Love is about giving, and being there for others, that is by giving of ourselves with our entire presence.
With so much pain going around in the world, it would be nice to turn to a continuous Valentine’s Day, full of kindness and mindful of others, because when the other hurts, one can also feel the pain, and be moved to act in solidarity and love.
And you don’t have to go out of your way to be nice or kind to others, without first loving and being kind to those closest to you.
The world would be a better place if we could just act our love everyday.
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