The other day I was reading a blog post about love that someone had shared. It compared the songs “All You Need Is Love” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney (who was left out of the article) and “Love Is Not Enough” by Trent Reznor. I won’t go into the whole blog post; I’m sure you can find it and read it for yourself if you like. The author of the post is entitled to his perspective on Love. However, it prompted me to express my own thoughts on love, because I take issue with some of his assumptions. The reason I want to address it at all is because I think they are assumptions that many people make about “people like me” (my own quotes), who do find value in the words All You Need Is Love, just not in the way people might assume.
I don’t know anyone who thinks that love alone will solve all the world’s problems. Love is not meant to be a fairy tale idea of little bunnies helping you straighten up your kitchen (though that would be nice), while you await Prince/Princess Charming. Love is a verb. Love is an action. Love is not just an ideal, or words in a song.
For me the important part is that love is a starting place. Only starting from there can I change anything or solve a problem in a lasting way. Love is a place that I return to (as often as I can I remember), before I speak or act, and I wish more often before I drive. I don’t expect love to magically fix or change anything. I do expect actions done with and from love to change things for the better.
I don’t think love is the solution to all our problems, but I do believe love is the beginning of the solution to all our problems. To me “All You Need Is Love” is about where I am living from, not about some idealized notion of how love or relationships will be. It’s not an excuse to not do the difficult work in life or relationships, but rather the internal strength that allows me to do just that. Love gives me strength to speak difficult truths, to peacefully stand up for what I believe in, to love my neighbor whether or not I agree with him, to admit when I’m wrong. Love allows me to recognize and let go of what isn’t life giving or loving in my life. Love helps me to forgive and be forgiven. Love allows me to help create a better world, because it will be a world that begins from love.
From my perspective, actions great or small done from and with love, are all we need.