Never has anything so true been said.
There are, of course, many variations on this theme, all of which are completely intertwined. Let's look at the phrase "Love Conquers Fear". It doesn't really matter how incredibly strong hate, fear or any of the multitude of negative emotions associated with these two can be: so long as you have someone to love you, show you love, and help you to find love yourself, you can and will survive anything.
Don't believe me? Well think about the hardest situation you have ever had to face and then think about the one thing that truly helped you. I'm pretty sure you'll be able to trace it back to the love of someone in some way.
Still confused? Well let me explain...
I'm not talking about a particular kind of love here, romantic or otherwise, but rather the all-encompassing love of one person for another. Love isn't about how you act, what you do or say, or even how you feel, and yet it is all those things. Love is, in essence, the power behind everything you do, say or feel that makes life special.
It is the hug between friends who haven't seen each other in far too long a time.
It is the phonecall to say "I just wanted to chat," even though you've spent the whole day with that very same person.
It is the desire to do something to end the suffering of others, even those you hear about on the news but have never met in person.
It is the hours you spend going over and over the same thing, trying to help someone else understand a concept that seems so simple to you but just doesn't make sense to the other person.
It is the meal you cook for your family after a long day at work, or the washing you put on the line to dry despite being exhausted and wanting to sit in front of the tv and do nothing.
It is even the ability to "hurt" another (and possibly yourself) in order to protect them from even greater harm.
What it isn't, however, is the ability to hurt another because you, yourself, are already hurting.
Too often in life we are assaulted by the fear and hatred of others. Personally I think most negative emotions come from fear. For example, if you hate someone, or are jealous of them, it may be because you fear being less worthy than them. To spread hate is to misunderstand people, to lose sight of love to your own fear and act in a way that both hurts you and the recipient. Let's be fair, who really feels better after spreading hate?
Do you ever wonder why so many stories and films end with the "bad guy" getting his come-uppance, often by realising his own mistakes and learning from the love of others? Love really does beat hate every time. But true love is not about reacting to hate with hate, but rather from a space of understanding and forgivenness.
I know we're all human so of course it hurts when someone treats us in a negative way, and we've all reacted in ways we regret. Yet I honestly and truly believe that life is a balance of light and dark, good and bad, love and hate. Without one the other does not shine so brightly. However, I also would never condone the hateful actions of another. Just because I believe these are facts of life, it doesn't mean I don't strive to overcome them.
A lot of times in my life I get upset over the "injustice of it all", and am disappointed that the world isn't the way I wish it was. I love to love, and quite literally hate to hate. But I'm not perfect: I've struggled with fear and jealousy as much as the next person, and hate really is just a small step away.
I say this because I want you to understand that I am not preaching a "holier than thou" case here. Just because love is an unbelievable force, achievable by all, doesn't mean it is always easy. Often the easier road is the one we really shouldn't take.
And this is why such blog events as this are so important. By joining together to write about love and spread a message of hope rather than fear, we can begin to counteract the hate that some people spread. The internet seems to provide all those people who feel hatred towards minorities and others that they do not understand with an easy option. I mean, if you are of the mind that someone from a different race is less worthy than you, or someone with a disability is lazy, then being able to share this view with others, without putting your neck on the line, must be very tempting.
It is easy to feel anger towards these people for spreading such hurtful lies and it is often hard to know what to do: if you respond "in kind" then you fuel the fire, and if you ignore it, do you let them "win"? I don't know the answer, but I do know this: many of these people act out of fear and ignorance and no matter how often I feel angry, it almost always turns into a sense of "pity" for them in the end. To live in such a world where everyone is a target for your hatred must be a very lonely existence. I would much rather live in a world where the people I know love me for who I am.
Thank you for continuing to come and visit me here at the Patch, inspiring me to continue writing from a place of love, no matter what is going on in my life. I do hope that you will check out some of the other bloggers who have felt compelled to join in this "Love Beats Hate" event, by checking out the list of contributors here.
And I shall leave you with these final messages:
Dreams are like Angels
They keep bad at bay, bad at bay
Love is the light
Scaring darkness away, yeah
I'm so in love with you
Purge the soul
Make love your goal
The power of love
A force from above
Cleaning my soul
The Power of Love by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
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.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and 13
Ultimately, the reason why love and compassion bring the greatest happiness is simply that our nature cherishes them above all else. The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. It results from the profound interdependence we all share with one another. However capable and skillful an individual may be, left alone, he or she will not survive. However vigorous and independent one may feel during the most prosperous periods of life, when one is sick or very young or very old, one must depend on the support of others.
Taken from Compassion and the Individual by Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama