Spread The Love
Spread The Love
The world is a better place because of you. Believe it. Inside you there lies something we all have, an unbroken chain of survival running back before recorded history. And somehow, through completely chance or divine intervention, we are here on this planet together. We share whatever limited time we have as passersby before we all make it to our common destination of death, wherever that may lead.
How can we make our mark on the world in the short time we have? Whenever I sit and think about this question, I’m reminded of an excerpt from The Laughing Heart by Charles Bukowski:
“You can’t beat death but
You can beat death in life sometimes.
And the more often you learn to do it
The more light there will be.
Your life is your life.”
It’s such a brief and beautiful thought, and I can’t help but completely agree with it. There’s so much in our lives that is beyond our control. We can’t know the greater scheme of the cosmos, our lives, or the invisible forces that have influence over the nature of things. No matter the scientific advances, or the leaps in logic, at a certain level, we are all together in the limbo of the unknown. Travellers, just passing through an inexplicably auspicious experience that we call life. There are, however, many things we do have control over.
I have control how I feel about you, and you about me. I have control over how much I choose to engage with the world around me. I can control how I choose to be affected by the events around me. In fact, our reaction is ultimately what we have. Any feelings we have about the world or people around us is something we entirely choose ourselves. Nobody can make you feel a certain way, only you can.
So with this in mind, here’s my mantra: spread the love. Learn what it means to beat death. Is it a child’s laugh? Respect from an elder? Like me, I’m sure you are constantly bombarded with reasons to feel hopeless about the world. The constant warring, the inequity of the many, the multitude of negative news headlines. But again, the world doesn’t get to decide how I feel about it, I do. I choose.
Choose To Care
I choose to spread love to those however I can. I’m not talking about doing something grandiose like starting your own NGO or creating some socially aware movement, though those are certainly great examples. I can choose to give love by opening the door for a stranger or helping somebody across the street. I can spread the love by smiling, or taking the time to talk to somebody who looks like they need company.
I can spread the love by helping my family, or doing a favor for my neighbor or by being a part of my community. I think people often think that they need to reserve charitable giving for a grand occasion, or something singular. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. You don’t need to be great to do great things. Don’t reserve your kindness for a single moment; give it out in little pieces along the day.
I remember I used to see the same homeless man on the corner of the street on my way to work. Day after day I felt bad but did nothing. One day, I decided to care, so I bought some extra fast food for breakfast and gave it to him. Turns out, he was disgusted! I was discouraged. I know it was just fast food, but I ate it just fine, how could this guy just shut me down after I tried to do something nice?
I could have walked away from that experience determined to be miserable about it. I could have said, okay that’s it, no more random acts of kindness, but I did my best to choose to spread the love.
The day after, I was walking across the street and I noticed that a man in a wheelchair wasn’t going to make it across the crosswalk in time. I asked if I could push him along, and he said yes. Afterwards, he asked me kneel closer. He said, “young man, you’re the first person to help me across the street since I got stuck in this chair. Thank you.” We smiled and parted ways. It was a small and brief moment, but it really made my heart soar. I could have let one negative moment define the way I look at life, but I didn’t. Instead, I chose to spread the love, and I made this man’s day.
So don’t wait for the opportune moment to do something great. You are great, let the world know! Choose to be kind and caring in your daily life with the little things. Choose to spread the love, and some day soon, you will see it returned back to you.