- 14 Dec 2019 - James Bytes
How can we love others when they are so different from us? How can we love others when they are in the wrong?
If we try to love and accept others as they are, we come to find that we can only accept them to the extent that we can understand them. One can also find that they can only accept others to the extent that we can accept ourselves.
What often creates an “Us and Them” dynamic between individuals is when we observe the actions of another that we do not condone. We can often look at others we do not accept and see that their choices are causing harm to others or creating negativity. Our brains are quick to make them out then to be an enemy. This always stems from the same reasoning. Our brains are problem solvers. The easiest solution to a perceived problem, is to remove the problem. By making those that we do not understand our enemies, we can easily rationalize that to deal with them, they should simply be eliminated from the equation.
It makes sense. If everyone acted as we did, believed what we believed, saw life as we see it, there would be no issues, there would be peace. We fight then to make others see things our way, and if they refuse, they become a threat to peace. The enemy of peace is surely our enemy.
History has taught us that this way of thinking leaves those with power oppressing anyone who opposes them, usually by means of unspeakably inhumane atrocities.
In modern and civilized societies, - that is, controlled societies, - nothing has changed. We outcast anyone that society does not accept.
Our love then, is conditional. We can only love those we accept. We can only accept those who we understand, including their ways of life and actions. That does not include most people. So how can we love and accept everyone, when so many are our enemies?
Empathy is always the key. If we understand that we may not understand someone entirely, but that they are made of the same stuff that we are, we can start to accept them.
But what of those who are in the wrong? What of the wicked? The evolved answer is not to cast them out or kill them, it is to empathize with them. To consider their feelings, their viewpoints, their reasoning, why they might be doing what they do. Instead of blaming them for their actions, we can look at why they are choosing to make these actions in the first place.
This is where love comes in. This is where love is always the answer. If we consider every person’s choice to make a negative or harmful action, we can always find that they made that choice because they were not loved in the way they needed to be loved. In most cases, this is blatantly obvious. Others are more difficult.
An easy example of this is of the criminal who steals. Would he still steal if he felt that he had his needs met? Would he steal if he felt cared for? Does he understand that possessions will not give him the love his heart is seeking to be fulfilled by? There are many more considerations than these that might go into why he steals, but even the worst will end with the same answer. If he felt loved, he wouldn’t be causing harm to others.
I will give a harder example. An example of one of the few evils I personally hold a lot of hatred in my heart for. I despise the kind of sick monsters that are called sexual predators. People who might rape others or extort others for sexual gratification. These types are always lacking in something so severely that their aura resonates evil. They often lack compassion, empathy, remorse. I have encountered those who are obviously obsessed with their desires and fantasies and think of nothing else. Their eyes prey and they likely do carry powerful demons. There is no humanity left to be seen here. No emotions, no dreams or goals, just empty. They don’t even see others as people, just complete objects. How could I ever love someone like that?
Well, if I think about this kind of person, they become the perfect example of how much we need love. This is likely the kind of person who was never shown love. They were never given it. They have never seen it. They do not know what love is.
So how did they become like they are now? Without knowing what love was, without ever experiencing it, but still needing it, in seeking it they looked to the material world, the only thing they knew. They looked to physically possess others in an attempt to have connection, trying to collect love as one collects money. They have no conception of love, bonding, caring, because no one has bonded with them, no one has cared for them. Instead they are trying to attain people the same way they attain food and water, because they don’t understand what they are seeking. And of course, from operating in an impersonal manner, likely have received a lifetime of rejection from others, and that is what they have been taught is who others are. That everyone rejects them. How is even surprising that they would become a person that desperately, obsessively preys on others?
The more severe an evil committed, the more love that person needed. Now, I don’t have enough love in me to love a person like a sexual predator. I can’t accept that kind of person. So let’s analyze what I’m really saying. Instead of just saying that person is evil, what is happening is I am starting to recognize that I don’t have it in me to love them.
The amount of love required to love someone who has been unloved for that long and has reached that point of being deprived from the need of love, far exceeds the amount of love and compassion I have to give. I do not have enough compassion in me to give them compassion. I do not have enough love in me to forgive a person like that.
Notice that by talking about this person needing love, I am not talking about condoning their actions. We usually look at a person’s actions and know that we do not agree with their actions, and stop there. If we look at the person, we can see they need more love. Recognizing that is the solution does not require us to accept or even understand their behavior.
In the example, that person should pay for any crimes they’ve committed. That doesn’t mean we can’t recognize that the answer is always love. In following the example, perhaps we could find ways to ensure that future isolated children are found and given proper support in loving homes, shown light instead of being left alone in the dark.
Accepting others is not about agreeing with their actions, or understanding them, but recognizing them as human and loving them still. This doesn’t help others so much as it helps us accept ourselves as well. We find that what we need is more love, to be able to love others more. To love and accept ourselves more is to be able to love and accept those that are different from us, those we do not understand. Looking inward, we can recognize that we need more light inside ourselves if we are to fight the darkness we perceive outside.