To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, that is genius. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
What is burning deep inside of you? If you could spread your personal message RIGHT NOW to 1 million people, what would you say?
Is this my chance to offer my own brand of self help?
Here it is: Love is the greatest thing.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
Yeah, I just quoted some scripture at you. I blame yesterday’s writing challenge. I do believe though that this is the greatest thing and the hardest to carry out consistently. Loving your family and friends is, most of the time, pretty easy. However, loving everyone else in the world is sometimes a challenge.
Alternate translations of the above passage show “charity” in place of “love.” The idea is the same. I don’t think it is a charity of giving the guy on the street corner $20 bucks from the confines of my air-conditioned car to assuage my guilt or because I feel sorry for him. I think it is something so much more that most of strive for whether we are “religious” or not.
It is a charity of the spirit, to reach out, to give to those in need. This does not necessarily mean need of money or material things. It means a giving of yourself. A genuine smile for the person who cuts you off in traffic that you are then parked next to at the next traffic light. It is a kind word for the unapproachable cashier that slings your bananas across the check stand. You pick the situation where you have been feel you have been wronged and insert the opposite of the usual response.
We have all been on the receiving end of kindness when he have strayed into the territory of less than stellar behavior. Haven’t you appreciated that person’s instant forgiveness of your attitude and then their ability to reach out to you and turn your mood around? I know I have. It is humbling but it is also a reminder that we all have the capacity to choose how we will react in any given situation.
We can determine how we will affect the next few minutes of that person’s life and our own. We have the choice to give back love and/or charity. The chance to give something of yourself. The chance to give and get something so much greater in return.
Love is the greatest thing.