Right now I would settle for simple mutual respect and forgo the seemingly unreasonable expectation that these political cretins should show the love they claim to believe in with all their heart and soul (the soul is not real you know). My bias is more liberal than conservative and more progressive than liberal and more kind of "out there" than progressive...cut military spending in half, pay soldiers a living wage with what's left, stop the sale of weapons, stop fighting wars, create a Manhattan Project to devise a cheap nonpolluting alternative energy source, real universal health care, clear out the rats nest we call Congress, publicly funded elections, voting on weekends, reduce the tax code to 1-5 pages, eliminate all tax exemptions, make schools one of the 3 priorities of government at all levels along with infrastructure maintenance and efficiency, an unequivocal declaration of equal rights for everyone, clean out the rats nest we call the Supreme Court, no one anywhere in the world goes hungry or thirsty unless they chose to. Well shit, sorry to have lost my head and the thread. This is one of the reasons I don't do politics - I just can't control myself.
Okay back to love and the family it springs from. Has it gone away or was ever really here in the first place? You all know it's easier to talk it than walk it. Right now any love you might have felt for me may be waning under the weight of this nonsense I am spewing into the environment. Rest assured my love for you is steady and eternal. Let's think about familial relationships for a moment. In spite of it all I remain loyally in love with everyone of the knuckleheads I am related to. But when it comes to my fellow man I am not always quite so committed. I mean I love my conservative relatives as much as the liberal ones but I can't say the same for scoundrels such as Boehner, Obama et al. Even though family relationships are fraught with power struggles my love remains constant...not so much when the power struggle involves strangers. If I were a christian/other religious cult member I could easily ignore this conundrum because god will cleanse my sin. As a humanist I am duty bound to face the problem head on or bear the weight of my shortcomings. What to do? I remind myself there are few truly evil people in this world. Many misguided, confused and lost souls (not real) but few evil ones. That is the first step. Next is to see them as a member of a family and loving that family the way I love mine. Problem solved? Well it is easier to love someone who is a lover her/him self...no matter how deluded, underhanded, hypocritical they be. Nonsense you say? Well maybe. Perhaps I am deluded. But it seems to me that familial love is the touchstone we can all share. The feeling we call love started in the earliest form of the family unit, probably before what we call humans evolved. So in that light I would have to say that love is one of the constants in human nature. The answer to the question is sappy as the song...love is in you and everyone you meet.
Erich Fromm believed love to be a conscious commitment beginning as an involuntary feeling. Anthropologists/biologists such as Helen Fisher explain it as an experience arising from the the combination of lust, attraction and attachment. Both seem to say love is something you do rather than feel and it originates in familial relationships. Enough Wikipedia. I think it is enough to say love is something you choose to do, it is an action, both learned and innate in origin, that begins with a relationship to a family. Love your family, love the person next to you (quietly and unobtrusively so as not to seem creepy), love the opposition, love the crook you had arrested for stealing your wallet, love the guy who cuts you off as you give him the finger. See Sylvia Plath.
And whenever I find myself wondering where the love has gone I look at one of my kids and I know exactly where to find it.
That's all I have for now.