Of all the things we have to do, there’s nothing more important than this one thing. Yet many of us spend all of our energy doing what we think is important and leave very little (if any) time or energy left to do what is truly significant. We may want to do it and feel committed to the idea of doing it. We may even have it on our “to-do” list. And yet days, weeks, months, and even years slip by for many of us without ever having gotten around to doing it.
Anyone can do it. It doesn’t require any special training, education, or equipment. You don’t have to be in any specific industry in order to do this—in fact, anyone in any field (or no field at all) can do it.
You don’t have to live in the right neighborhood to do this. It doesn’t require that you know the “right people” or that you be in any particular “right place.” You don’t have to be ultra intelligent or uber sophisticated. No particular physical acuity is required.
Kids who aren’t yet old enough to get a work permit can do it. Even little ones can do this. Elderly folks can do this. In fact, the very young and the very old can be exceptionally good at this.
So what is it?
It’s showing love to someone else without the expectation of anything in return.
Most people will say, “Oh, yes, right, that’s true.” And then they’ll go right back to the task at hand.
Recognizing a thing as true is much different from implementing that thing in our daily lives. We know that too much salt or sugar can cause or exacerbate health problems. And yet most of us go ahead and eat what we want hoping that somehow the consequences of our choices won’t apply to us.
Giving love to others is not a task to be added to an already hectic schedule or a goal or objective to be attained. Giving love to others can be a way of living that enhances the lives of everyone involved. It can be as simple as smiling and making eye contact and greeting people sincerely and joyfully as though we are genuinely happy to see them; and it can be as dramatic as giving someone a car or a place to live or a kidney.
You may be thinking, “lady, I want someone to love me. I can’t be the one doing all the giving.” Hopefully we receive love along the way too. But despite our human desire to be loved, receiving love is a deceptive goal. When we make receiving love from others our end game, we give all the power for our happiness to other people. [Pause and think about that for a moment.]
Of course, it’s wonderful to feel loved. To be truly loved and delighted in by someone else is beyond description. But if our focus is on receiving love from others, when we don't get it, we’re left empty and wounded. Whereas, when our happiness is dependent on our own loving actions, we retain control over our happiness.
The beautiful thing is that we give love to others, love splashes back up on us. In giving love, we feel love. And in the process of living a loving lifestyle, we attract good people and opportunities into our lives.The quality of our lives goes up exponentially when we make giving love our lifestyle.
When we don’t even have to think about our response to challenges, insults, sleights, and outright tragedies, and what comes out of us when we’re squeezed by these things is love—that’s when we have authentic happiness that no one can take away from us.
Regardless of what else we do, if we don’t do life with love and kindness, we will be missing the mark on the most significant thing we can do in this life and the incomparable joy that accompanies it.