Thursday, March 23, 2006

Nonlove?

"....nonlove is the unwillingness to extend oneself. Laziness is
love's opposite. Spiritual growth is effortful...."
from The Road Less Traveled by M.Scott Peck

I'm nearly done reading that book. He has many interesting insights,
some I disagree with, but many of his ideas are quite good. I found
his ideas about love worth pondering. He thinks love is the
willingness to extend yourself to help with the spiritual growth
of another, or yourself. Spiritual, meaning something like "human
spiritual/mental growth and evolution".

He put love in perspective for me. If I am willing to exceed my
limits for another, despite fear, discomfort, risk, and laziness -
that must be love. If I want them to be a better person, to be
happy and genuinely want to help them along the path they have
chosen, that is love.

Does it have to be "mutual"? That is a little tougher. It is a
lot more nurturing to the self, I believe, if it is mutual - it
keeps the vessel from becoming empty so quickly, but I don't
think it is required.

People who go to other countries as volunteer doctors or workers
to help impoverished of disaster areas have to be doing it out
of a love for humanity. They must get something back for it,
that makes them extend themselves so far from their normal lives
and comforts.

There isn't enough love to go around, that is for sure. So very
few are willing to "extend" themselves and change their inner
world maps to any great extent. Maybe they can do it to the
immediate family, sometimes - but rarely go beyond that to
friends, the community, strangers, and humanity at large.

Why can we not overcome our laziness and put more love into the
world? All of us out here, on the edges, need it so much.

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