When love beckons you, follow him. Though his words are hard and steep.*
The larger lesson here is that we can help our friends, our co-workers, our employees, and ourselves when we remember that love and caring matter.**
Love and caring don’t require a larger budget or more hours to be found. Indeed, there’s every possibility that existing budgets and hours will reduced because love and caring speeds up our imaginations, collaborations and making.
Erich Fromm writes about how society must not be allowed to separate us from our basic loving nature:
‘Society must be organised in such a way that man’s social, loving nature is not separated from his social existence, but becomes one with it.’^
Our purpose and meaning lie beyond the economic where lives become commodities to trade:
‘All activities are subordinated to economic goals, means have become ends, man is an automaton – well-fed, well-clad, but without any ultimate concern for what which is his peculiarly human quality and function. If man is to love, he must be put in his supreme place. The economic machine must serve him, rather than he serve it. He must be enabled to share experience, to share work, rather than, at best, share profits.’^
We have yet to see what loving and caring can achieve.
We know it well as we count the things that matter most to us, that make life better, that change things, and yet these insights fail to be carried into working places and into our politics. Yet loving and caring are ways of making the invisible visible, the unimagined tangible. It’s all around more practical than we allow:
‘As people feel connected, challenged, and engaged; as they feel trusted and autonomous; and as they get more recognition for their efforts, the total amount pf motivation, joy, and output for everyone grows much larger.’**
These words from Dan Ariely connect with what I have read heard from others, including Robert Greene and Peter Diamandis, that we may consider to be about love: what matters to us as humans is to live with autonomy, to do something well and to live for a purpose greater than ourselves.
Such love has implications for more than our species, as Peter Senge helps to make us aware:
‘A regenerative society is about life flourishing, not just human life.’^^
The difference in today is simply you.
“When your mind is filled with love, send it one direction, then a second, a third, and a fourth, then above, then below. Identify with everything without hatred, resentment, anger or enmity. The mind of love is very wide. It grows immeasurably and eventually is able to embrace the whole world.”*^
(*From Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet.)
(**From Dan Ariely’s Payoff.)
(^From Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving.)
(^^From Peter Senge’s The Necessary Revolution.)
(*^The Buddha, quoted in Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.)
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