Love (noun) vs. Love (verb)

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Love Wins.

That is one of the placating statements in times of violence or fear or hate. Love Wins. I’ve said it. You’ve said it. I’ve truly believed it. In the end, love wins. Good always triumphs over evil, love will prevail over hate.

It’s not enough. And, depending on how you are defining “love” it’s not even true.

Love as an idea or a pinnacle of humanity is not enough, as a descriptive noun it gives warm fuzzies but does not promote change of behavior. However, love as an action, now that’s something else entirely. Love as a verb is scary, and determined, and all-consuming, it keeps you up at night.

Love is flawed but trying. Love is committed and forgiving, but has no patience with complacency. Love is a living thing that must be tended to, encouraged, and allowed to grow. Love is something you DO, actively, and continually. Love as a VERB is a CHOICE. I’m not talking about romantic, sexual love, the twitterpated butterflies early in a relationship. I am talking about something much more, much bigger, and much more difficult to maintain.

A wise man once said “Love your neighbor,” what he meant was to treat all humans as if they were your own. To fiercely protect the unprotected as if they were your own babies, your own blood. To stand up for the downtrodden and the abused as if they were YOUR parent, YOUR child, YOUR lover, and YOUR friend. To champion the weak and oppressed as if your own happiness depended on it.

We are there. The forces of hate and fear and vitriol are growing stronger and stronger, or, they are the same as they always have been but we are hearing about them more now. Christians who are truly following the admonitions of Christ can no longer “pray for XYZ” and consider their work done. Humanists who claim to be anti-racist or anti-sexist or anti-whatever can no longer leave it at that. Love as an action is not complacent, it is not pithy, and it CERTAINLY is not convenient. It’s time to get uncomfortable, folks. It is time to take a stand and dig in our heels, those who are fostering and encouraging hate and fear have a huge jump on us already, and to combat that cloud of evil we need to do more than sit at home and offer hashtag prayers.

I am done with this shitty status quo. In 5, or 15, or 50 years I will not say “oh, I sat by and let that happen, I didn’t want to get involved.” I’m not entirely sure what my next steps are, but I have had enough. Enough of rape and domestic violence, enough anti-woman culture, enough violence towards women by men, enough #NotAllMen, enough violence towards ethnic or religious groups by those who refuse to understand, enough vitriol, enough hate crimes towards LGBTQ persons, enough racism, enough police brutality towards those with dark skin, enough #AllLivesMatter, enough mass shootings and enough elementary school kids being killed in broad daylight, enough young black people being shot for NO GOOD REASON. Enough. I am done. And I am no longer going to be polite and nice about it.

I will love fiercely and without abandon, and if that means I will literally crush hate and fear and all the loathsome ideology that comes with it, so be it. If you (the metaphorical “you”) want to be racist, or sexist, or anti-feminist, or homophobic, or trans-phobic, or anti-Islam-because-they-are-all-terrorists, or pro-zero-gun-regulation-whatsoever-because-what-have-guns-ever-done-to-anyone, or in ANY way promote the unequal treatment of humans, you will be tongue-lashed without mercy. Out of love. Because that shit is not okay. Love is not passive. Passivity is apathy, a definitive lack of action. Love is a verb. It’s time we start acting that way.

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3 thoughts on “Love (noun) vs. Love (verb)

  1. I agree – I need to start doing something to offset the hopelessness of how our world makes me feel. I just need to find out what that is!

    Xoxo

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  2. Very powerful and very real and very true.

    I like to think that I am an optimist and that America is still a nation where 99% of us want to live in peace. But the opportunities to prove this theory don’t always reveal themselves until we look hard.

    In my state of WV, several counties were devastated by flash flooding a couple weeks ago. Most of the people who lost everything lived in a known flood zone but a very high number lived in areas that were considered 1000 year flood zones and that year was this year. Entire towns have been wiped out by water or mud slides, so much so that it is sobering and shocking.

    But the good news is that the entire state responded in some way to help. I don’t mean just a little token help, but real honest hardworking effort to help these people. I have spent a couple of days volunteering with my family and am trying to work in more days helping them and it is really humbling to see how many thousands of unrelated people are loving their neighbors as themselves.

    I applaud your call for duty because it is only through the action of turning off the TV and getting our butts out on the streets that we can achieve real change in our communities. Thank you for the words you wrote, it really helped me to gain some perspective today.

    rob

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