Love Is The Strongest Social Force
“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives. Choice, not chance, determines your destiny.” -Aristotle
As I sat alone with my thoughts, in that quiet stillness where the voice of self-actualization resides, I had a revelatory thought: love is stronger than hate. Sounds like a Hallmark card. but wanting to explore that thought and revelation further, why would love be stronger than hate?
Carl Jung plays with the idea: the lower the hell the higher the heaven. This has created for me the idea that emotionality lives as a globe. When newborn, it is at best a slight dome. As you feel pain, loss, anxiety, that dome rounds off as a globe. The top of that globe is as high as you push your highest high, scaling to the next high. The depth of the bottom also scales to the level to which you explore the true misery and malevolence in the world and yourself.
Evil, or “hate”, if you will, being a good proxy for evil, is limited in its dimensionality, as I see it. It seeks to destroy at all costs and appears unable to appreciate its counter. Hate is so self-absorbed that when met with love it can often cause its projections to fly back at the bearer of hate creating a vicious feedback loop. Hateful people may know that they are hateful but often have reductive and simple reasons for their hate. Something approximating the idea: “the world deserves to feel the pain it has caused me”. That same feeling from hateful people is often first propagated by a feeling that they deserve the pain they receive. And if they deserve it, why not you? From their perspective.
What love does, I find, is it allows a more holistic union of the Yin Yang. The idea: lower the hell the higher the heaven. Love can descend into the muck and misery with a stabilizing mechanism in redemption. While I may have felt misery and have had misery inflicted upon me, to allow that to make me a hateful person, is akin to being crushed. And being crushed by malevolent forces is easy to do.
When met with a Rocky Balboa-level resistance of hate, love is the “Eye of the Tiger” keeping you going, igniting the fire within. That fire not only provides warmth for you and those around you, it can be a beacon to those lost in the darkness and bogs of misery. When met with a hateful act in a hateful world, but you decide to stop, take in the moment and to see someone lost, someone feeling invisible, and then reach out a hand and connect by saying some approximation of: “I see you”. I see your struggles, I see your pain, I see your flaws, and love you because I love myself and have seen myself in these same places. And if I can provide a beacon in the darkness, maybe the most honorable way to live in the world is to help others ignite or focus their own beacons.
Love does not divorce itself from the pain that drives hate. It acknowledges it and it forges the psychology to become stronger. As a loving individual, you can be met with much hate and still love but it doesn’t take much for a hateful person to break and “hulk out”. While there may be strength in hateful conviction, it surely makes one fragile and brittle psychologically. The point of life and where most of the beauty lies in the world is not found by being rigid, but by being flexible. By seeing love in yourself first, which then extends that divine blessing onto others. You can accidentally be hateful but no one is accidentally loving. It takes a lot of strength to love in a world showing you hate and malevolence. This is my conclusion to the revelation that love is stronger than hate.
“Excellence is not a gift but a skill that takes practice. We do not act ‘rightly’ because we are ‘excellent’. In fact, we achieve ‘excellence’ by acting ‘rightly’.” – Plato