With the time you have on this earth, I urge you to remember what’s important and hold on to
what matters. What matters is authentically and compassionately loving people. Remembering
this is one of the biggest struggles we as humans face worldwide. We live in a society that urges
us to reach for position and wealth instead of serving the community and building relationships
with people. This message of “more” pushed onto us by commercials, television, and media has
imprinted on our souls. As a result, people scheme and figure out ways to use each other to reach more. Our work and drive become spoiled when it is done out of opportunism and not love. It is a horrible waste to passively exist in our schools, jobs, friendships, and families without intentionally loving and caring for the people around us.
People in the world are struggling to love others compassionately and truthfully because they
value independence over interdependence. Independence is about self-reliance, seeking to
elevate one’s life and individualism. Interdependence is centered around collectivism, building
community, and reciprocal servitude in relationships. Having an others-oriented mindset and
Valuing interdependence is powerful. It is also uncomfortable. Serving and loving people while
contributing to a collective effort requires us to deny ourselves and abandon selfishness.
Independence, therefore, becomes the more comfortable mentality and life path to embrace.
Although we will never be independent because we live from the work of others, it is easier to
believe that it is every man for himself in this world. People would rather be comfortable
“independently” than love others and show care for their well-being.
Valuing independence over interdependence isn’t the only action that makes people not serve,
truthfully love, and build relationships with those around them. Laziness is also a disease that
infects our ability to care for others. Love and service are active, but slothfulness is passive. To
intentionally care for one’s community means you have to actively get to know the people and be consistent in learning about them. However, many people make no effort to know the waitress at the restaurant, the clerk at the store, or the family in their homes. It is more convenient to spend time glued to our devices, addicted to our work, and consumed with our own life. This laziness, self-obsession, and disregard for others is a disservice to humanity and a detriment to our souls.
The forces of individualism, greed, and laziness hinder our society from authentically and compassionately loving others. Instead of focusing on service and unity, people are hyper-focused on accumulating wealth and status. Although this is the norm, there is a solution. It starts with a change in conduct and behavior. To love more, we must serve more. We can serve by constructing community-building relationships among family, neighbors, friends, and co-workers. In this collective community, learn about people’s lives, cultural backgrounds, and struggles. As you continue to listen and learn about their needs, find ways you can serve and help them. Then do it! Participate in community or church activities, provide a voice of hope to your peers, and continue to learn about the people around you. Expressing gratitude is also imperative to loving and having an others-oriented mindset. When you eat, play games, work, acknowledge verbally the people locally and globally who worked to make what you have possible. This practice causes you to be aware of the interconnectedness of people and understand how important it is to be of use and do things for the other selves.