The Weekly Dream: Love and Sacrifice
February is often seen as the “Love Month”. It is the one Hallmark holiday where everything is drenched in pink and red. If you have a special someone, you celebrate it, if you don’t, you try to ignore it. Either way, this is society’s celebration of romantic love.
As a shy, young grade school boy, I loved this time. Believing that timing was everything, I would wait all school year to tell whoever I had a crush on that I liked them. This would take the form of gifts, chocolate or a note. Although we might exchange treats with the class, I always tried to make sure that special young lady stood out from all the rest. It might cost all of my meager allowance, but if it made her happy, it was worth it. Unfortunately, my best friend, who had a paper route, had a habit of liking the same girls as I, and would out-spend me, but I must say I put up a valiant effort.
I reflect on this because in our formative years, we really do not understand what love is about. We get sold all of these “happily ever after” fairy tales of princes and princess, but that is not what we see in the world. So we grow up looking for a dream or an illusion not of our own creating. As a result, disenchantment normally occurs and people create any number of coping mechanisms to deal with the disappointment: bitterness, denial, nonchalance. Yet others intuitively redefine this concept for themselves. This is fine, but often their concept of love is an outgrowth of negative experience or it is emotion divorced from corresponding action. Personally, my idea of love is heavily influenced by the Christian faith. This month, it is my desire to explore this defining human characteristic in an attempt to tap into the true power and also deepen our understanding.
As stated earlier, this concept is personalized from person to person, so it is imperative that we collaboratively reflect and share on our experience and ideals. I encourage all of us to lend us the benefit of your wisdom and experience by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or posting your comments at http://www.thesuperspade.com/
Love without a limit
I am infinitely interested in the “dark side” of love and human relationships in general; the parts most people will not tell you about. Somehow, in the course of growing up, my ideal of love became intimately linked with sacrifice. To me, you cannot have love without giving something of yourself. By definition, love is to seek and promote the general well-being of others. It is altruistic and self-less. Pure sacrifice hurts, but when you put love next to it, the blow softens because you are glad to be able perform. You will give all that you possess and be glad about it.
We witness this time and time again with our families. Parents constantly place the needs of their children in front of their own, and never really complain. Or mom/dad might give you something that they know you cannot ever give back to them. However, they do not hold it over your head. They see it as part of their obligation as parents. They are responsible for you.
Too often, we find ourselves involved with individuals who profess to love us, but they do not give anything of themselves. They consistently take and take, but when we are in need, they turn a blind eye to us. That is not love. Love without sacrifice will inevitably breed resentment.
In the New Testament, Jesus stated that where your treasure is, your heart will be also. Time and time again, you saw Jesus putting people’s love to the test, with the Rich Young Ruler, his disciples and the crowd. When he asked them to give away all that they possessed to follow Him, he could see where there love was and what they were really willing to give in order to prove it.
In a Broader Context
February is also Black History Month. With the recent passing of Mrs. Coretta Scott King and also Rosa Parks, I began to think about the Civil Rights Movement and the history of the African American people at large. What distinguished those leaders of yore from the leaders of today is their genuine love of their people and their liberty. Perhaps it is my own personal skepticism, but I am hard pressed to believe that the Montgomery Bus Boycotts could have happened today. Too many of us would be concerned about it being too cold, too hot, having to pick up the babies from daycare, etc. etc. We are talking about tremendous inconvenience and sacrifice on the parts of our ancestors in order to claim basic societal rights. But the love and hope for a better future for the children and society at large kept them moving onward and upward. It took tremendous love for the likes Malcolm and Martin to do what they did. But it also took tremendous sacrifice and strength on the parts of their wives to stand by them while they did so. So the one lesson I am going to take from this month is this: You cannot lead the people if you do not truly love the people. If we began to truly walk in love and seek the good of our brother, we would see more of that true leadership that has marked our history time and time again.
Let’s us honor those who have loved us enough to give even when it was not convenient.
Let love reign: Give more of yourself.
R.I.P. Coretta Scott King
Truth and Peace,
Steven M DeVougas
Question of the Week: How do you know when you are loved and what have you given to prove your love?