This I Believe

Samuel - Briarcliff Manor, New York
Entered on June 7, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: love
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Why Adam Smith Was Wrong

As John Lennon wrote, “Love is the answer, and you know that for sure.” In the world of cutthroat economic competition, it is often difficult to view acts of kindness through the opacity of the immoral doings in everyday life. People try to press other virtues on one another, but fail many times to recognize the big picture; love is the one true answer to life’s trials and tribulations. I live my life everyday by the guiding philosophy of love.

Love is a truly human feeling, affection between people that binds them to a common purpose. Animals are incapable of feeling love; they are solely guided by innate behaviors programmed to help them survive to pass on genes. For humans on the other hand, the ability to make choices and love separates them from animals from an evolutionary perspective. While animals compete, humans have the ability to help one another, to be generous, to love.

One cannot ignore the implications of the effect of love in the world. No one enjoys war, yet it is ever too present. War comes from the loss of sight of the common goal of all humanity, to progress. Territorial discrepancies, wars of religion, and wars of race result merely from a breakdown of love in mankind. If hate is replaced not only with love, but also with appreciation for others based on that love, peace would ensue and the tools of hate would no longer be necessary. Terrorism would become futile and racism would naturally die. As Golda Meir, the first female prime minister of Israel, put it, “we (the Israelis) can only make peace when they (the Palestinians) learn to love their children more than they hate us.” Only when people love one another will peace exist.

Love is the one true way to achieve self-fulfillment. Love is accompanied by a mutual respect and trust for others, virtues so critical to finding happiness. Too often, the potential of love in society is ignored and lost to the virtues of competition and capitalistic ideals. A reason for the appeal of communism in the 20th century was its offer of sharing, and thus universal acceptance. Hate is not the opposite of love; greed is. Greed leads to hate, which subsequently leads to a breakdown of morals. Love is the tool to overcome greed.

I believe in change. People can begin to love and accept others. People will learn from one another, not through war. One day, people will realize the common thread that exists beneath all human life: love. Without it, we are only as complex as a honey bee programmed solely to fertilize the queen and die. In the absence of love, evil is all that can prevail. It will be the downfall of humanity to continue to hate. To come full circle quoting John Lennon: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join me and the world will live as one.”