What does love look like?
“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” – Saint Augustine
Cultivating loving-kindness is beneficial for all of us. The more we have, the better we feel and the more we are able to improve our lives and the lives of the others. Love has only one motivation, to be truly helpful. With loving-kindness we develop an understanding of our connection to others, our communities, the environment, and to the world in which we live.
Instead of being egocentric, seeing ourselves as independent of others and only focusing on our needs and desires, it is valuable to recognize that everything we have is because of the efforts of others and the resources available to us. Our education, work, clothing, vehicles, food, recreation, home, literally everything we have and get to do is dependent upon others and available resources. There is no us without others.
If we want lasting happiness, it is essential that others be happy, healthy, and flourishing. When others are flourishing, our communities are flourishing and our lives are filled with more opportunities. When others are suffering and don’t have their needs met, our communities are suffering, economically and emotionally. When others have resources and opportunities to develop their potentials and dreams, they are not harming themselves, others, or committing crimes.
Recognizing our shared humanity and our interdependence is foundational to the development of loving-kindness. Everyone has their struggles, worries, and concerns, just like us. As we help others, we not only improve the world, we also improve our lives. In the process, we also add to the reservoir of loving-kindness within us, having more to draw from in difficult times.
I invite you to be an example of what love looks like. Let the words of Saint Augustine inspire you to be as helpful as you can in your actions and interactions. – John Bruna
The above is a an excerpt from one the daily emails sent to the members of the Mindful Life Community. I invite you to explore our community and consider joining.
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