Why did I start this blog? / Why do I write this blog?

To my mind, writing this blog is an act of love—perhaps a very minor one, but an act of love nonetheless.

Why? Because we are what we think. And so to think about love—to make it a practice daily to think about what Love really is instead of what we would innately or self-servingly like it to be, to contemplate a bit more each day what Love truly is, to reflect on this, to read and write and continue to study up on this, to make the time to sit quietly and meditate about this—is itself an act of love. It is literally to create more love—to create a greater capacity in oneself (that is, in myself) to be a genuinely more loving person—a genuinely more loving partner, a genuinely more loving teacher, a genuinely more loving sibling, a genuinely more loving friend and member of my particular community.

But if I don’t stop to think much about Love, what does that do to me? What does that help me become? What is the cumulative effect of that? John Ruskin wrote: “The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what he gets by it, but what he becomes by it.” If instead of sitting quietly in a room and reflecting daily for 20 or 30 minutes on what Love is, I read a lot of vampire fiction (I know, an easy target), if I watch a lot of football or basketball, if I read a lot of gossip magazines (again, another easy target), if I get deep into online-poker or fantasy football, if I play a lot of X-Box, if I indulge in a lot of idle water-cooler type chitchat, if I watch a lot of TV, what is that doing to me? What is the cumulative long-term effect on me of all of that—what is the cumulative effect of all of that on my heart and mind and soul? What is the cumulative effect of all of that on my thinking? On my perception? On my capacity for understanding and empathy and compassion? Is any of that helping me to become a better partner, lover, friend, teacher, a more productive and Loving member of the community? Is any of that helping me to become wiser, stronger, better attuned to my fellowman and his or her daily struggles and pains?

How we each define and then practice love—if we even do define and practice it all—has huge ramifications, huge implications, for everybody else. Because what we call “society” is nothing more than the result of how each of us (as well as generation upon generation before us) has defined (or mis-defined or even failed to try to even define) and practice love.

What might happen in a community (and to a community!) if more of its members spent less time distracting and anesthetizing and dissipating themselves with gossip magazines, vampire fiction, fantasy football, X-Box, idle Internet surfing, et cetera, and instead spent 30 minutes a day reading and writing and contemplating what Love really is? What if more and more members of a community took the time to write and blog about what they think Love really is—what sort of an effect might that have?

It seems fairly clear that a large part of becoming a more loving person means thinking deeply and often about what Love really is. That is one of the first acts of real Love—to begin thinking deeply, sincerely, widely about Love.

And then to share those (or these) thoughts—that too is an act of love.

We are what we think.
All we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with a confused or an impure mind
And trouble will follow you
As sure as the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with a clear and pure mind
And happiness will follow you
As your shadow, unshakable.

How can a troubled mind
Understand the way?

Your own worst enemy cannot harm you
As much as your own thoughts,
Unguarded and unexamined.

But once mastered,
No one can help you as much,
Not even your father or your mother.

– Buddha


About John

I am a married, 46-year old, Midwesterner, with four children. My primary interest is in leading a very examined and decent and Loving life; my interests that are related to this and that feed into this include (and are not limited to) -- psychology, philosophy, poetry, critical thinking, photography, soccer, tennis, chess, bridge.
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