Love Isn’t All We Need, But it’s a Start!

John Lennon and The Beatles wrote in one of their most simplistic songs that all we need is love. Well, it’s not all we need, but one point that the past month has driven home is that love is in very short supply in this world.

Without love, it’s difficult — if not impossible — to establish a positive direction in life. You need love in your heart and to feel love from others. In both of my novels, A COACH AT HEART and UNDER FALSE PRETENSES, the main characters strive to find love. For George Steele, it’s to restore his self-worth. Deirdre Hanson seeks to fill a perceived void.

Love balances our common sense and judgment. Without it, our sense isn’t too common and our judgment is impaired. Indeed, a lack of compassion — a byproduct of love — makes us judgmental.
That’s how we end up with mass shootings and violent reactions to far-off events that we can’t control.
The result:
— someone who gets so angry at gay people amid questions of his own sexuality that he storms an LGBT nightclub and mows down as many people as he can;
— guys who act on legitimate rage over police shootings of black men by shooting officers instead of doing something constructive that will solve the problem; and

— multiple attacks by self-styled followers of the Islamic State around the world.

You don’t need to be a major LGBT supporter to be horrified at what happened in Orlando, or pro-police to be shocked at Dallas. Conversely, you’re not anti-police if you wonder why the hell these shootings of mostly unarmed black men keep happening.

So we’re talking about a handful of disaffected people, right?

Not necessarily. Look at U.S. politics, where the presidential campaign has arguably come down to the two most despicable candidates in memory. This election season has been mired in hatred. Americans are understandably frustrated with government officials and political insiders who manipulate issues for their own ends, instead of solving them. This has been going on since the dawn of mankind, of course, but the proliferation of electronic devices and social media has allowed us to be connected to events, from shootings to politics, more than ever before.

Unfortunately, the evolution of humanity hasn’t kept up with advances in such technology. So frustration is now at a boiling point, leading to a visceral anger that people probably wouldn’t have felt just a few years ago. Approaching our problems from the perspective of fury won’t improve our lot in the long run.

Sure, like the song, the notion here is simplistic. But love is a start. You don’t need to consider something, particularly in a professional environment, and think: okay, how do I approach this from a perspective of love. It’s innate, and again, balances your viewpoint.

People have spoken a lot about kindness, thanking cops and hugging neighbors over the last few days. Small things, but they can affect your outlook going forward — and theirs. You have to have the foundation first. Only then can we come together and unite as a nation.

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