“Choose to love, baby; choose to love.” These words reiterate over and over; they’re stuck in my brain forever, bouncing around between my ears. If there is one thing my mother and father engraved in my brain throughout my short life, it is the fact that no matter what difficult decision we face, we can always choose to love. The answer to every tough question I ask: choose to love. The lullaby on nights where I cried myself to sleep: choose to love. The antidote to the poison called anger that corrupted my every thought and action: choose to love. Love God, love yourself, and love others. It is not the type of love that urges two people to boldly pronounce, “I do;” not the type of love a mother shares with her newborn, but it is the type of love that Jesus Christ demonstrated by sacrificing Himself on the cross. This is the type of love that possesses the power to transform the cloudiest of calamities into the sunniest of circumstances, even when the circumstances do not change.
The Bible tells a parable of “The Good Samaritan” which begins with a regular man being beaten and robbed. As he lays dying on the side of the road, a priest and a wealthy doctor pass by with no second thoughts, barely glancing at the man. Yet the third person to pass by, an average man, makes the decision to stop and help the beaten victim. The irony in the story is that the first two passers-by, the priest and the doctor, were of the same culture of the beaten man where as, the third, the Good Samaritan, was of the enemy. This man did not stop to help his fallen brother; he had the compassion to aid his adversary. The Good Samaritan chose to love in the same way that we all should.
“Choosing to love” is a lifestyle not an action. Most do not realize simple smiles, generous gestures, and happy hellos have the capability to be the saving grace of a person hanging onto life by a thread. By making the conscious effort to be more friendly and brighten the lives of those around us, we choose to love. Instead of gossiping about our enemies, why not strive to make them our friends? Instead of denoting our self-proclaimed flaws, why not exhilarate our strengths? Everything said and everything done affects the lives of those around us. People remember every action we take, so why not leave them with a lasting impression of confidence, friendliness, and compassion. In this life, we can move forward influencing no one, living life only for ourselves, or I believe, like the Good Samaritan, we can choose to love.
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