“She was 5’1, middle aged, Jewish, slender, soft voice, wise with a peaceful disposition. A 10th grade English teacher but on that day she revealed her true identity. It was on that day that I laid my head over my arms to slump on the desk to escape the meaninglessness of English honors that she convinced me to write a poem. Reluctantly, I wrote a few lines. Glancing over the paper, her eyes widened with genuine astonishment as she whispered “this is really good, you must keep writing.” It was this statement that kindled a fire within me to always believe that I could contribute, that I had a place in the world. This 5’1 10th grade teacher, this real life super hero- with her words moved infinite worlds inside me.”
It is easy to say we love everyone, especially when the mind thinks of the most pleasant and appeasing personalities that surround us. But how quickly are we challenged when encountering the most broken of men-the scoffer, the long faces, the angered souls that recoil at our friendly invitations. I have found that the key to loving even the most ruthless of men who seem incapable of loving, is to be mindful that behind the guise of indifference and hatred lurks a frightened and deeply wounded child in desperate need of healing.
“We addicts only feel alive when we’re either getting high or helping the next guy. There’s no in-betweens about it. I can honestly say I’ve never felt as whole as that one day G_d chose me to embrace her as she yelled frantically, gnawing her way through dirt and pavement. 1 year of sobriety and just receiving the news of her mother passing, it was perfect timing for the both of us. Until that moment I didn’t think there was a soul within me capable of loving when it really mattered. Months later she recalled the event and thanked me for saving her life. Tears flowed from my eyes, unbeknownst to her, it was she who had saved mine.”
Is it really possible to make meaning out of every moment? Some people may say that their lives are characterized by a general sense of design and meaning but to say our daily occurrences and experiences are filled with purpose may seem like a spiritual ideal-an inspirational quote at best. If life contains order and perfect design, why are our daily routines lacking purpose? The problem lies in distorted roles. We have become infatuated with our stance on receiving and have neglected the natural life sustaining approach of bestowal. At every turn of our waking hours we are bombarded by someone or something attempting to sell us a product that will provide gratification. As a result, this has increasingly become our default mode in which our innate drive to give and love altruistically has withered under the illusion of ‘receiving equals fulfillment.’ The obsession to have is a subtle addiction producing apathy and indifference towards others. Many times than not, the cause of depression and anxiety stems from an existential crisis where purpose is lacking and the individual finds no meaning. Once the distorted belief that attaining ‘things’ is broken (switching mindset from receiving to giving) and the individual begins living a life of service in which love, elevation, and healing is bestowed on to others, the meaning of one’s purpose is drastically enhanced.
Sometimes, deciding to “bite one’s tongue” in opposition is the best sacrifice we can offer.
And we clearly see how powerful quarreling and violence can be. Man was created to invade, engage, and seek continuously- not through bloodshed- but through love.
The best time to love is in crisis. Crisis gives way to uncertainty and uncertainty strips us of our judgments and presuppositions. In crisis the veil of labels is lifted and we can finally see and love the person behind the mask.
Difficult times are the catalyst for genuineness. It gives us clarity into what we really need: Each other.
Our greatest hope should not be in the acquisition of wealth and status. Our greatest hope should be that right now will be the moment we decide to love one another altruistically and unconditionally. There is no greater hope in life than love.
The best meal is a cold one gathered for a single mouth and served warmly for two.