I don’t think we really know what the word means. I don’t think we know what love is. I’m going to speak for us all, because if we did know, if we understood it, we would not be doing what we’re doing to each other, all of the time. We’d not flip each other the finger or call each other assholes or exclude each other from the so-called American Dream because of our differing notions about the technicalities surrounding the backstory of a loving God. If we understood love we’d reach out to help one another, all of the time, and not stand by while people lived and died in the street without roofs over their heads. We’d not shut people out of our lives. We’d not not harbor anger and resentment over sleights. We’d not kill each other with guns and chemicals and nicotine. If we understood love we’d be a giving society instead of a taking society. We wouldn’t ever worry for one second about our personal liberties or personal rights. We wouldn’t have to. If we loved all of our liberties and rights would be assured. Because people who love take care of each other, even if it seems it’s at our own expense. Love doesn’t measure or tally or hoard. It doesn’t keep track of insults or snubs. The very notion of revenge or comeuppance or getting even cannot coexist with love. Eye for an eye is trumped unequivocally by do unto others. Love means treating every other human being as you’d wish to be treated, even if you never have been or ever will. Love is not me first, it’s you first. Love is the all-encompassing politeness of the soul. Love means letting go of winning, getting, surpassing, ruling, controlling, bending others to our will. Love transcends the body and recognizes that the deeper, elemental and most meaningful aspects of life don’t reside in form. Love does not see with the body’s eyes, it sees with the heart – interior to interior, mind to mind, brother to brother, sister to sister and all the other familial permutations of nouns.
I’ve talked a lot about Stu, how I met him randomly in a park and we shared an hour together sitting face to face, talking about everything we’ve learned in life before we ever even knew each other’s names. This happens to me. A lot. So I’ve given it considerable thought. It’s not hard for two people to come together in love and understanding. It’s not hard to share our stories with each other. It happens in business settings and it happens in supermarkets and parks. Sometimes we let our guard down. For a brief moment. We forget that we’re supposed to be tough and competent and strong. We forget that we’re men, or women, rich or middle class, employed or not, and we share a part of ourselves, and we listen.
Maybe you don’t think that ‘walking into love’ has a place here on LinkedIn. It’s not conducive to a Top Ten list or funny quiz. Love is not a formula, and data can’t figure it out. Love never makes it into a business plan. Business is serious, and not for the feint of heart. Business has no room for new age hippie bullshit. Business is a war. Business is a Darwinian system of struggle and survival that requires a removed if not ruthless mindset. Well, if that’s how you feel about, that’s fine. Because that does work. You don’t need love to turn a profit.
The system, wherever it is, whatever it governs – from politics, to commerce, to social justice – isn’t working for most people. And it hasn’t for a long time. Call me crazy but maybe we’re not wild animals anymore. Maybe we’re not living on the brutal frontier. Maybe kill or be killed, win at all costs, shoot first ask questions later and only the strong survive has run its course as a relevant operational mode for this thing we call human civilization. Ours is a world running on the fossil fuel of fear. It’s time we switch to the one proven renewable. It’s time for love. Thanks Stu.