Before even the February starts, we see ads popping up in our social media news-feeds, emails, in our local stores and brands suggesting to buy so-and-so gift for your valentine, events to take your loved one to. So much to say something maybe as simple as “I love you”. While others out there are marketing all of this, allow me to sell you an idea with a 99.9% discount code “LOVE HUMANITY” and ‘love’ back guarantee (It could be a 100% but do we ever see a 100% off label? :D).
Love is above everything:
Why the focus of February or Valentine ’s Day is narrowed to the romantic sort only? Love is meant to be universal and unconditional; without the limitations of time, type and people. Whenever and wherever we find the opportunity, we tend to hate, show anger, disrespect, mock, criticize and judge people around us regardless of their race, age or relationship with us. Should not it be the other way? Should not love outgrow all other emotions? Should not we give love, respect and kindness a chance before judging, hating or disrespecting? For once, shouldn’t we try to find positivity and goodness in a person before giving in to faultfinding and falling into the traps of negativity?
“All I’m saying is, kindness don’t have no boundaries.”― Kathryn Stockett, The Help
We usually identify ourselves on parameters of gender, nationality, race, culture, religion, political or other affiliations. We are more concerned for the groups we think we belong to, on a smaller or larger scale. This categorization may pose risk to the interests of people from other groups and identities. Think globally – accept the fact that we are from same human species?
Master the art of love:
By nature, a human can’t help but make moral judgements based on personal opinions, find and call attention to faults of other human beings. This makes hatred and negativity heap up in their hearts. So for a human, one of the hardest thing to master is show love, respect and extend support to fellow human. But is it impossible? In fact this is what we should be celebrating anytime, anywhere.
Let us see how we can be more compassionate, loving and kind and start practising it.
Keep your priorities in order:
You cannot go around loving humanity when you do not love yourself or you have an unhappy relationship with your parents, sibling, spouse or relatives. Your family and friends are your strength that will keep you motivated to be a good person and support others.
Talk and listen:
The best way to show love to someone you care about is to talk – and listen – to them. One of the most expressive way is being present and attentive when someone is speaking. Show them that they matter, their words matter. Attention means listening and asking questions, remembering what that person told you and how good it is that they had a great day, why they felt a certain way or how did they manage with a certain disaster. This encourages them to talk more. They feel loved and comfortable in your presence.
Say it out:
You will be surprised to see how a small word of praise, encouragement and appreciation brings a significant change in a person’s day. Have you ever come across someone wearing a beautiful scarf at a bus or subway stop, on your way to office? Well, next time tell them that you like their scarf or outfit or handbag.
Saw someone collecting empty cans and wrappers from a public park? Help them if you can and take a moment to appreciate their effort. If you see someone struggling with something, be it a friend, family or a stranger, it never hurts to ask if they need help in any way. Even if they tell you that they will manage, the offer alone gives them strength and encouragement.
Learn from them, teach them, and assist them. There is piles of knowledge and talent that a person has to offer, either learned or God-given. How about take some, give some or swap? Look around in your community, you may find individuals willing to teach or learn a skill without spending a penny or expecting any. If you own a skill or have learned a specific knowledge which can help others and you can feasibly spare a few hours a week, start serving.
Conquer the borders of biasness and show the willingness to tolerate, to be fair and accepting of diversity. Give way to open-mindedness. Know the fact that there is existence of different opinions that may not be in line with yours and behaviours that you may not necessarily agree with. Develop the tolerance to endure annoyance to the way people behave or generally are, without an unreasonable huge reaction.
Believe in others:
Another way we can show love is to stop being cynical. Sometimes, unknowingly we are letting pessimism take the best of us. Even when someone approaches us with the purest of intentions, we doubt it. We doubt their selflessness and believe in the worst of human nature and motives. Trust other’s sincerity and value their opinions and selflessness.
Know their worth:
We take humans for granted. We barely have much time to notice peoples’ existence let alone talk to them. If living on a deserted place we find someone, will we show him that “You don’t exist” attitude we usually do to our fellow humans on a routine day sitting next to them in a public place or even in our sitting room with TV remote in our hands? It is ironic how indifferent we are. Reflect! Do you sometimes feel unnoticed, taken for granted when you want attention and your worth recognized? Acknowledge the blessing of living in a society of civilized human beings and learn to value their existence.
Make a connection:
We dread spending
half a day sitting next to someone who may be annoying with endless self-praise
or with nerve-racking snores. But have
you ever felt unusually relaxed coming home after an exhausting 17 hrs long
flight? I did, because of the complete stranger sitting next to me.
Sometimes what people need is to have a connection, to talk something other than weather, football game, food or politics. Try to build a kind of connection that will let others talk about their innermost thoughts, experiences, fears and challenges. The point of establishing such a connection is not to criticize, confront or argue for the sake of conversation but to get to a level of understanding where you develop a strong bond. Spare some time to communicate in a comfortable and relaxed environment.
In a world full of unfairness, criticism, negativity, complaints, choose to focus on positivity. Device ways to attract people towards goodness and gratefulness. Looking at all the ugliness this world has in store, you can either chose to sit back and complain, or take a stand to beautify it in your capacity, for yourself and for others. Emphasize on acts of compassion and kindness and let it grow, no matter how small it may seem. A simple positive approach can bring a significant change in a person’s life and the community. When you surround yourself with positivity, you attract positivity.
We spend our time, resources and abilities for something we think is worth spending on but when it comes to supporting a cause or a person which may not seem to directly cater our personal interests, we hesitate, we take our time to think and consider our options. Extend support wherever possible without reluctance; help someone financially, assist an elderly person in house chores, cook food for a sick person.
If it was not for my husband, I would never have looked beyond a closed list of people around me. Although I still receive flowers on a valentine’s day, it never ceases to amaze me how he goes out of his way taking every opportunity to bring a positive change in any form. I am convinced that it is contagious, you become what you see.
Lighten the burden:
Sometimes just telling people that you know how they feel and that you see their struggles, lighten their burden. Sit with an elderly or a sick person, listen to them, and acknowledge their pain. Not only you will make them feel better but you will return with a lighter heart too. Help them step out of the agony with your love. People with special needs, bed-ridden, grieving, orphans all they need is a little love to brighten their day.
You can offer your services for any volunteer task that is related to your passion and area of interest. Work for such opportunities on a regular basis to know your own potential and integrate love, compassion and kindness into your life.
The community I live in, has inspired me in so many ways to love humanity. I have seen people looking for volunteer opportunities, to offer their time, energy and resources wherever and whenever needed. May their efforts be rewarded and may we all show such compassion, love and kindness towards humanity. Amen
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