On my journey through India I made a trek to see the Beatles Ashram. The walls were covered with symbols and verses from their music. I was struck by how simple they lived and yet how powerful were their words.
A large human heart was drawn on a wall with the words “all you need is love.” To myself I said, “if only life was that simple.” Not one to be cynical, but maturing years has taught me that idealism is best left for the young. Experience teaches you that life and love is not always the fodder of fairy tales. In fact love in and of itself is such a difficult thing to define. Romantics, poets and writers have tried since the beginning of time to capture the essence of love. But love cannot be captured in words.
We confuse love with the chemistry of attraction. This of course quickly fades and what we are left with is the questions of, are we compatible, trustworthy, respectful and caring? If these are the true markers of love than the Beatles had it right; “all we need is love.”
We need shelter, food, good health, morals and hope to survive. Love is the ingredient that takes us beyond mere survival and allows us to thrive. But without compatibility we cannot create harmony and without harmony it is impossible to survive. Your health depends upon the harmonious workings of your body. For a society to grow and find stability we need morals and ethics. For a relationship to survive compatibility is required.
Trust lies at the heart of all relationships. Without trust resentment, anger and a host of destructive emotions come into play. Loyalty and dependability are the byproducts of trust. They allow a relationship to flourish and thrive.
Respect brings with it value and that which we value we carefully protect. Relationships are sacred for they are the very foundation of life. Without the ability to relate the structure of life could not exist. Everything in nature must respect the natural course of life. An animal does not kill out of disrespect. It kills to eat, to provide and to survive. Humans on the other hand sometimes literally and figuratively kill out of disrespect and lack of value. When this happens the structure of love gives way to hate.
Caring is perhaps the deepest part of love. When we care we work to create harmony. We establish loyalty and trust and above all we respect and value our relationships. Caring is being there when the going gets rough. It’s a concern for the well fare and happiness of those around us. It is the willingness to sacrifice simply for the sake of sacrifice. It means to give without expecting something in return.
We need shelter, food, good health, morals and hope to survive, but we need compatibility, trust, respect and caring to thrive. Find these within yourself and then love what you do, love who you are, and love those closest to you, and you will find the true meaning behind the Beatles words; to thrive all you need is love.
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