Many poets, songwriters, and philosophers have settled on “Love” as The Answer. But what does that mean?
I think many people discard the very thought because of the phrasing. The conflate it with romantic love, or sexual attraction, and have no room to consider it as something much greater than either.
Perhaps, in more common terms, it means nothing more than just being kind.
In a world where you can be anything, be kind. Kindness is love, no matter to whom you’re expressing it.
It can be as simple as letting another person have that parking spot, over-tipping your waitstaff, picking up the litter in your neighborhood, or waving to the old couple that walks by every day. Each of these and so many more are acts of kindness.
They’re acts of love.
That still feels like it comes short, somehow.
It’s also love of life, gratitude for simply being, and for the gifts you have. It’s love of humanity, all of it, without exception, and watching the species, like a child, grow, falter, and grow again. It’s love of all life, from the dog sleeping at your feet, to the wildlife inhabiting your neighborhood, to the creatures all over the planet that you’re likely never to see.
It’s love of the planet, and the marvelous circumstance that caused this random rock in space to be habitable and hospitable, and acknowledging our responsibility not so much for its care — it’ll be here long after we’re gone no matter what we do — but rather nurturing that hospitality towards ourselves and future generations.
And of course it’s love of the people in our lives; our friends and family, both biological and chosen.
It’s all love.
Choose to live a life based in love.
“I’ve realized why we are here,””
whispered the boy.
“for cake?” asked the mole.
“To love.” said the boy.
“And be loved.” said the horse.
– Mackesy, Charlie. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse