RIP, Unconditional Love

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This is a near word-for-word 180 from an article written here by some guy who claims unconditional love is dead, then goes on to talk about all the people who are incapable of it or don’t have it. It’s exactly the type of article you’d expect. I wanted to show that his claims against people he disagrees with apply to him equally. Just one more entry in my Diary In Defiance of the Small-Minded

When unconditional love is missing, the space between us increases, and evil rushes in to fill the void.

Like unsuspecting characters in a John Grisham novel, we are all accomplices to a slow-motion homicide. It’s happening little by little, and its ongoing occurrence is so drawn-out and familiar that we don’t realize the magnitude of the maliciousness.
The victims of this crime?

Acceptance.
Kindness.
Empathy.

And we are all, either by action or silence, guilty.

Acceptance is a mighty barrier that stands between each of us and the malice that poisons our minds and relationships. Kindness makes us impervious to temptations to harm those we ought to love, whether family, neighbors, or strangers. Empathy helps us see ourselves in others.

When love is missing, the space between us increases, and evil rushes in to fill the void, and it is often evil of the very worst kind. Its presence raises up ordinary people, such as Mother Teresa, to lives full of extraordinary, selfless love. Its absence can make a monster of any of us.

As one clear piece of evidence, consider the anti-gay leaders and their followers. The anti-gay crusade to kill kinship goes beyond the bigotry itself. Its casual acceptance among adults produces breathtaking, unintended consequences in countless families, groups, and countries, robbing children and adults alike of a sense of personal security and self-worth.

Although it may sound strange, I suspect there is a correlation between these people and the deleterious state of social affairs in our country. Why do they crave “safe spaces” for their beliefs while they lambaste the “snowflakes” for wanting actual safe spaces, free from the tyranny of their dogma-driven judgment and acidity (that has come to pose an actual, physical threat)? Why do they demand a society where they can be free from contention, from any form of ideological disagreement, and from anything that might trigger unhappy thoughts or unwelcome feelings? Why do they feel as if they are, somehow, prevented from upholding their beliefs because other groups are given similar liberty?

Perhaps it’s because they’ve never actually felt truly safe or able to trust their own selves, concerned with stepping out of line and suffering eternal punishment for it, rather than taking full responsibility for their actions and formulating their own opinions of life and the people in it. What could be more insidious, more damaging to a young psyche than to receive the constant message that they are bad—sinners!—and that they should hate all the “bad stuff” and all the “bad people.”

What becomes of those children who become young adults and then adults, and are told by the people they’ve trusted that an entire class of their fellow man are “bad”?

This introduces another correlation—the distinction between those who are “good” and those who are worthy of punishment. What stops the self-righteous from taking up the mantle of Avenger rather than Accepter?

In many cases, nothing has stopped the self-annoitedly-justified from harming, even murdering, those “others” who have been vilified. In their righteousness, they lost track of the ultimate directive: Love One Another.

They are so blinded by their own fear of the eternal that they’ve become unable to extend empathy, acceptance, not even kindness, to another person. In many cases, their hatred for others stemmed from a real hatred of their own selves. Pretty great from a supposedly-unconditionally-loving group, yeah? Those unable to love themselves can’t love others.

The point is, unconditional love lies at the heart of any flourishing society. Its absence creates an emptiness where all of the people are left to suffer.