Media would have you believe that just leaving the house everyday puts you at tremendous risk, at least seven ways from Sunday. Much of this sensationalized, spoon fed propaganda is designed to keep you closely tuned in, and in some cases out. But where there's smoke there's fire, and life is risky business.
We drive on freeways where people are texting with one hand on the steering wheel, and we fly on airplanes that may or may not be going up or coming down at the pilot's guidance. We (some of us begrudgingly) trust the doctor's orders, our water supply, our government regulated food chain, and our elected officials.We smoke cigarettes, drink booze, and statistically allot of us are still doing drugs. After sending our children into schools that have become war zones, we consent to wars for them to fight in. We trade the stock market and go under the knife for vanity's sake without blinking our botox-frozen eyes. Is your cell phone microwaving your brain? Don't be so sure it isn't.
All of these things involve a tremendous amount of risk, and yet we seemingly take them without caution. Or much of it anyway. So why are so many of us reticent to take a risk and love? We're afraid to love our neighbors who are in some way different than us. They're a different color. Practice a different religion. No religion. Make less money than us, more money than us. They vote red, they vote blue. They're trying to ruin your life because they don't see things the way you do. How could you love them?
Our hearts have been crushed by friends, parents, lovers, and life's disappointments. Or have they? Whenever we are faced with pain, we have the capacity to decide how deeply we let it scar us. We have control over our level of devastation, and we decide how much we're willing to risk next time.
But is that why is love so scary? Because our hearts might get crushed? I'll admit that I too have been afraid to risk my heart. I've suffered the disappointment of love affairs ending, the betrayal of friends, and the judgement of strangers. More than once, trust me. Cassandra says "Broken hearts hurt like hell, but they don't kill you."
I say that the heart isn't nearly as fragile as the ego would lead you to believe.
I love this quote from Stephen Colbert: "If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we’ve got to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that he commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition — and then admit that we just don’t want to do it." That's us alright. One nation, under God... busted.
Love your brother, your neighbor, the one you're with.
And certainly if someone is willing to extend the gift of love your way, don't deny it.
Idealistic and cliche as its sounds, love really is the only thing that can transform, heal our hurting world. It won't be money, politicians, or organized religion. Historically those are the 3 things that divide us. No, it will be YOU. However this transfomative movement will require you to take a risk. Perhaps several. Are you willing? Real risk takes courage.
Don't be a wuss, and for crying out loud don't be stingy!
If there's one thing you should be putting it on the line for, its always love.