This I Believe

Ervin - Keller, Texas
Entered on January 16, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in the power of Love. I believe that Love can transform our lives into meaningful investments in time as intended from the beginning. Though rich as a commodity, love is a scarce resource. I believe it is too often abused, misused, confused, and falsely accused, because all love isn’t real. Real Love is not that which changes with the seasons or starts anew with every wind. Real love is eternal, significant, purposeful, and vigorous, and we have yet to tap into its true power.

When I hear people say “I want someone who will love me for me,” I automatically know that it’s real love they seek, and that they’ve graduated from a willingness to settle for the other kind. Nonetheless, if we continue to reduce love down to simply a feeling, we’ll never find what it is we’re really looking for. I recently shared this with a friend. We use the terms “being in love” to describe the FEELING that we have about the person who is most special in our life, the person who “does it” for us, turns us on, makes us giddy, makes our heart melt, who we constantly think about, who we want to be with all the time, and who we’ve got to have. In reality, that’s not REAL love.

Real love has nothing to do with FEELINGS at all. Real love can only be seen in what is SHOWN to other people. For instance, after hurricane Katrina, people allowed complete strangers to move into their homes with them, and others gave up their vehicles to victims who had lost theirs, while still others emptied their savings accounts to care for the growing number of homeless. That is REAL love, shown through compassion. REAL love is when a young person’s spouse suddenly becomes a paraplegic, but they remain with them and take care of them for 45 years. What we call being “in love” only DESCRIBES how we FEEL, but it isn’t love. Though the feeling of being “in love” is still valid and real, there’s no guarantee that it will last. In fact, in most cases, those feelings eventually fade, even among people who stay married for a lifetime.

I believe in the continuity of the human spirit, passing along what is most important about life and love to generations that follow. Each of us carries within our innermost being the connection that binds us to everyone else, a heritage passed down from a universal Father. There is something within us that doesn’t want to be confined, always reaching, always searching, and always pushing us to connect with those around us. We exist because of one another. We exist for one another. We exist with one another, and without each other our lives become meaningless. We are all, of a truth, brothers and sisters, sharing the same blood, descending from common ancestry, and inheriting a mutual legacy. I believe that our strength lies in our ability to unite and act as one in all we do. We are greatest when we are together, and we are weakest when we are apart. This is the purpose of love.

I believe in the sanctity of forgiveness, that which transcends the realm of human error and judgment. We, all being debtors, one to another, will never outgrow the need for forgiveness, nor escape its profound healing virtues when practiced often. As long as there are people in our lives forgiveness will be necessary, less we fall victim to anger and bitterness. There are two types of people in the world, forgiving and unforgiving. Those that forgive embrace life, love, happiness, and other people. They are trusting, nurturing, and considerate individuals. Chances are they are not perfect and have learned both what it is to hurt and to be hurt. The unforgiving are not so. They tend to be angry, cold, defensive, often lonely, and resentful of others. They aren’t easily trustful and seem to expect disappointment. What they lack is a dose of forgiveness, an emotional laxative, which will allow them to release the bitterness they have towards themselves and others who have wronged them. When we forgive, we heal both ourselves and those around us. Forgiveness is the companion of love, and one cannot survive without the other.

Hal David, a famous songwriter, said it best when he composed the lyrics, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.” I wasn’t around when he wrote the song, but I’m certain he must have felt a lot like I do. I believe our world now hangs in the balance because it has been surviving on too little TRUE love. If there were more of it, the world could be such a better place. For I believe that God is Love, and He alone can truly fulfill our need for it. We need more God. We need more Love. This is my manifesto, and this, I believe.