Love can change the world. Not the romantic, head-over-heels kind of love, but selfless love. Selfless love is giving of yourself, your time, and your resources for the benefit of others. It is caring about others’ quality of life and helping those in need. Changing the world will not happen by introducing people to a formula or giving them ten steps to make their lives better, but by showing them love.
This kind of love starts with having compassion. When we live selfishly we have no concern for anyone else. All we care about is pleasing ourselves, and people around us often get hurt. Eventually we start using people and stepping on their toes because it makes us feel better or it advances us in our career or our popularity. We see no problem with using others because it benefits us and we do not even think about how they might feel. We do not care about those who suffer, those who starve to death, or the people who are dying because they cannot go see a doctor. We do not think about others because we are too consumed with our own lives, because we have no love for anyone but us.
What are the results of being so self-centered? America is the most successful country in the world, yet people suffer from depression, pain, and false relationships. People are confused because they can have anything and everything they ever wanted. They work their whole lives to please themselves, but they cannot figure out why that does not satisfy them. People are still left empty and looking for something else.
We rarely stop to consider what we could do to make our world a better place. If we tried, we might just be blessed beyond imagination, and those who suffer would be taken care of. We have to take our eyes off ourselves to see the needs of others and to allow ourselves to feel compassion for them. We must have love. When we love, we will want to reach out to others, build relationships, and make a difference in the world around us. Love can move mountains. It can shake the foundation on which people live. Love can work miracles in the hearts of those who receive it, and we have the power to give it.
Everyone could benefit from having more love in their lives. One of my favorite movies is Chicago. In it, the singer Roxie Hart talks about love as she addresses her audience. “And the audience loves me, and I love them. And they love me for loving them. And I love them for loving me. And we love each other. And that's 'cause none of us got enough love in our childhoods.” Ms. Hart has it right. Everyone could use a little more love. Most of us have grown up in this selfish nation and have not experienced selfless love.
It is all about giving up our selfish lives and our desire to live only for ourselves. We have to start living for others. And live not just to receive, but live to give, to share, and to grow with those around us. We can change the world by using our talents and abilities not just for ourselves, but for others. We can let those around us share in our victories and we can be a blessing to them.
We not only need compassion, but we have to see life and everything in it not as our own, but as a gift that was given to us to take care of. When we let go of the ownership of our money, our resources, and our talents, it becomes so much easier to share. It also helps to remember that everything we work for here on earth will stay on earth when we are gone. It does no good for us to store up treasures for ourselves. But we can give and share those treasures with the people around us.
By giving we are blessed. The most amazing feeling in the world is to know you gave selflessly to help someone else – to know you have given of your time, of your money, of your talent, and that someone else is benefiting from that. It makes life no longer about just you, but about everyone around you.
Let’s take care of those in need, let’s have compassion for the hurting, let’s start loving people, really loving, and desiring to see everyone live a full, healthy life where they have a chance to succeed and a chance to love. Learning to live with few material possessions, with moderation, could make a huge difference in the lives of everyone. Enjoy what you have, but don't let it consume you. Let love consume you, and let love change others’ lives through you.
Take time to get outside, to get to know your neighbors, to help someone besides yourself once in a while. See what it does for your attitude, your health, and your heart. See if it does not change the people around you and start changing your life as well. Smile more often. When you do these things, you will have reasons to smile. You will be happy to live life. Getting up in the morning will not be just about how you can gain more for yourself, but how you can live free of the chains that selfishness ties around your neck, and about how you can enjoy life for what it is.
Do not worry about having the biggest, or the most, or being the most important. Worry about how you can reach out to one person less fortunate than yourself, how you can be an encouragement to someone at work or in class, how you can share something that you have with someone else who does not have it. Loving changes your world. It affects the people you associate with, and if everyone loved selflessly, the entire world would be a different place.