Friday, January 20, 2012

I Choose Love

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

That might be the most famous passage in The Bible about love. When I read it, it reminds me how I'd like to live my life. I italicize those words because, although I'd like to be that way every day of my life, I often fall short. The problem is, it's not just me. I think as a society, we have forgotten what Love is. I understand that not everyone has the same beliefs as me when it comes to the Bible, and this is not an attempt to get people "On my side" Instead it's a commentary on how I see the world we live in and how it is DEEPLY flawed.

Perhaps I'm a bit naive, but I would think that patience, kindness, humility and selflessness are things we would all strive for, regardless of our theological beliefs. And if not, the perhaps love isn't too high on your list of priorities. But if those are qualities that you would like to see in a person, ask yourself, do you see them in yourself??

Love is Patient. Americans as a whole are not patient. We want what we want now, and will do whatever it takes to get it. Think about how many times you've cursed under your breath at the person at the grocery store who is moving too slow through the center of the aisle. And I can't tell you how many times I've yelled, or cursed at someone who is going 40 MPH down the highway in the left hand lane? Is that a picture of patience? I would say not.

Love is kind. Is kindness a characteristic we exhibit in our everyday lives? Sure, we're willing to toss a buck to the guy downtown who's got his hand out. But when was the last time you made a true sacrifice? And I don't necessarily mean a financial one, although those are certainly commendable. But I mean when was the last time you rolled up your sleeves, and decided to get in the trenches and help someone who needed it? If it's been a while, you're not alone. I'm not that great at it either.

Does not envy, does not boast, is not proud. I lump these three together, because in my mind, they can easily be summed up in one word. Humility. When I look at our country and the people we elevate to "Star" status, I get the impression that humility is not a trait the we consider important. Musicians sing songs in which brag about how many cars they have, how many people they've slept with, how much cash is in their accounts. Is that humility? And what about pro sports? Athletes repeatedly talk about how great they are, and how they're the best to play whatever game they happen to be good at. Not only that, but when there is an athlete who tries to be humble (Read: Tim Tebow) he's berated in the media, and people don't know what to do with him. Humility is not a trait that we as Americans seem to value, and I think that's a problem.

I titled this post I Choose Love, because I have decided that I want to demonstrate these things in my life more. I know that when I've done it in the past, it's made my life a little more rosy, and if it brightens the lives of those around me, then It's certainly worth it. Imagine, if we as a society decided to be a patient, kind, humble people. I think the change would be so dramatic, that you wouldn't recognize the world we live in. But it can't happen if someone doesn't put their foot down and say, I choose love. That means if I come across someone who doesn't agree with my political ideology, or who is of a different faith than me, I will respect that persons choices, and love them. That means when someone does me harm in one way or another, I will do my best to forgive and move on, difficult as it may be. Why? Because I choose love. And perhaps if I do, and show these loving qualities, then I can make my teeny tiny corner of the world a sunnier place to live in.

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