Todd’s Thoughts, August 2018

The instruction to “love everyone,” seems like a tall order. I won’t name names, but there are some people in this world it seems nearly impossible to love. Yet there’s a difference between loving and liking. It’s possible to love those we don’t like, and to even like those we don’t love. Liking others depends on sharing something in common with them, with being “alike” in some ways. When we say we “don’t like” or “dislike” others, we really mean we don’t share much in common with them, that we are dis-alike. Since love isn’t a feeling toward specific people, but a way of behaving toward everyone, known and unknown, requiring us to treat them with respect and care, it’s entirely possible to love everyone and anyone whether we like them or not, whether we consider them like us or not. How many people in your life have you treated with respect even if you didn’t much care for them? It’s something we should consider in a world where so many imaginary lines are drawn between ourselves and others, racial lines, gender lines, sexuality lines, economic lines, national lines, religious lines, political lines, etc., etc. In an era in which we are taught it’s okay to distrust, demonize, and destroy those we consider dislike ourselves, the command to “love our neighbors,” and to “love our enemies as ourselves,” may be more important than ever.

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