We never truly win without love within. A victory achieved with might or hate is a short-lived, shallow victory.
Love is a vital element of our future, and seems to be in short supply in our current divisiveness. Love is not just something that happens when you are attracted to someone. When we come from a Place of Love, we assume the best of people we encounter. We give the benefit of the doubt. We are more willing to work together to find solutions to our mutual problems, and more able to see how problems are mutual. Sounds warm and fuzzy, and perhaps it can be, but there is a very real reason that love is important to who we are as humanity.
As we have progressed as a species, our circles of cooperation have expanded, first at the family and clan level. Those bonds of family were the base of love. As we grew, we started cooperating on the village or town levels, and the love for this origin grew. During the emergence of kingdoms, countries and nation-states, our levels of cooperation and loyalty continued to grow. We now need to expand further to encompass all of the planet and all of creation.
The competition that fueled evolution so far has continuously included more and more cooperation.
So what role does love play in this progression?
We were hard-wired though natural selection to bond to people like us and to fear those who were from an outside group. That was the survival of the competition. When a piece of land would only support your in-group, you had to protect it from incursions from other groups in order to survive. As we progressed, there were certain advantages of having goods, culture and knowledge from other groups, so cooperation became a part of being the “fittest” (in the evolutionary sense).
To overcome that “natural” fear of outsiders, we need to have a consciousness-raising that includes agapic love. To see past our fears, we need to exercise an intentional love for everyone. This *is* an intention. It is a way of seeing the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
It is time to consciously take the next step in evolution. As we are taking over natural selection, we must take a different approach.
“Love your neighbor” was an instruction to insure we will survive and thrive well into the future.