“Where do we learn how to love?”
With this question, I introduced my book, Lovescaping: Building the Humanity of Tomorrow by Practicing Love in Action, on Thursday, November 8th, 2018, as members of my Houston community got together at the Houston Area Urban League (HAUL) to celebrate my book launch.
Love is a choice we get to make. But how can we make that choice if we never learned how to love?
I believe we need to start by recognizing that love is not just something that we ‘pick up’ along the way, nor should it be assumed that we will learn it at home. Love is a practice that we can learn to cultivate and nurture.
Lovescaping is a philosophy of life based on practicing love in action through the intentional and purposeful engagement of its fifteen pillars.
Imagine the humanity of tomorrow, based on a system of trust and respect, where organizations are led with honesty, resolving conflicts with empathy and humility; where we are taught to forgive; where we express our concern for one another through solidarity and caring actions; where we celebrate being vulnerable; where we extend our compassion to share our suffering; where we communicate clearly and unabashedly; where we value patience as we understand that important things take time; where we practice gratitude for all the small daily joys; where our liberation is tied to each other’s, and where we never lose hope and use it as a guiding light through this rocky but rewarding path called love.
This humanity is possible if we learn to practice and embody the pillars of Lovescaping. It is our ability to love that lies at the core of what it means to be human. Every human being wants to be seen, heard, valued and embraced. Every human being wants to matter. Every human being wants to love and be loved. Our love needs to cover our communities. You see, the exceptional quality of love is that it is contagious and infinite, and it does not become diminished when shared.
It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? But simple does not equal easy. Indeed, I’ve come to understand that the important things in life are really quite simple.
Fellow human beings, Lovescaping is a movement, a paradigm-shift to address the single most essential, urgent and timely need in our world: learning to love.
I believe this should be the most important purpose of education. What are we teaching our children and to what end? Is there anything more vital than equipping our humanity with the tools to develop self-love and love for others? This book is my attempt to share with you this simple and yet monumental task we have ahead of us.
The last question is “who am I to tell you how to love?” I am just another human being roaming our planet and trying to figure out what existence is all about. Lovescaping is what I have learned from all my roaming around- in all my living and loving in different communities across opposite corners of the world, I have learned that we human beings are more similar than we are different, and that love is what unites us. My experiences have shown me that there is a way for us to learn how to love and practice love in action, and that it can be done through the cultivation of the fifteen pillars of Lovescaping. This has been a process of putting practice into theory, of unveiling the values that make love possible across all my experiences. It is the work of my life, my manifesto of love, my legacy.
I moved to Houston two years ago and have been actively involved in the education space in our city. I currently have 4 pilot programs at different public schools in Houston, implementing my Lovescaping curriculum based on teaching each one of the pillars. The goal of the lessons is for students to cultivate self-love and love for others through the engagement of the fifteen pillars of Lovescaping.
In an ever-increasing globalized and polarized world, a need for an education that nurtures and teaches how to cultivate love, humility, solidarity, respect, and that helps develop critical thinking, empathy, perspective taking, passion and compassion, can be a force for collaboration instead of conflict, and a force for peace. It is the only source of hope we have left as we embark upon the challenge of dealing with conflict and the de-humanization of the world. An education that ignores the socio-emotional development of young minds and that defines it for narrow economic gain and competitive mindset bears the risk of more conflict and little respect for humanity in the world. Education needs to serve the broader goal for all students and for the future of the world with all its multiple diversity. If we can prioritize love and make it a core component of our education systems, we would be equipping the next generation with the tools to practice love in action.
I choose to start here, with the systematic cultivation of love. I hope you will you join me.