I can count the things that I love on both hands and still have fingers left over. It isn’t that there’s no love in my heart–it’s actually quite the opposite. I love some things so strongly that the rest of the world has to get along with being liked or–more likely–ignored and/or tolerated. There are also a few things I dislike (but it gives me no joy to say that) and an even smaller number of things that I hate.
None of what I’m saying here relates to people in any way. People can reciprocate love back to you, while inanimate things cannot do this. If I say that I love to write–and I do–it is with the understanding that writing doesn’t care for me and never will. Who I love and what I love are as different as night and day.
The things that I love don’t have to be automatically loved by the people that I love. I would never try to suggest that if I love something, someone that I love should love that thing, too. That’s not love; it’s closer to control than anything else.
But by the same token, if someone that I love happens to hate something that I love, it wouldn’t cause me to stop loving whatever that thing is. I might feel worse about loving whatever that thing is–or perhaps I would even wonder what it is that that person sees that I don’t see–but I wouldn’t let anyone’s hatred dissuade me from something that I love.
I say all of this, as a departure from the type of thing that I usually write here, because today I allowed my hatred for some inanimate thing to get the better of me. I started to rail against this, in the company of people that I love, and who love the thing that I hate. I immediately felt bad about doing this, so I asked myself what was the point of professing hatred toward something that they love.
Was I trying to rid the ones I love of something that they love, just because I hate that same thing? Would it be a good thing, if that were to happen? The answers to these questions weren’t comfortable things to consider, but the questions still had to be asked.
I spent the rest of the day looking inside myself, and examining my own value system. Let’s say that I love apples (I don’t, but it’s a good place to start with this). If somebody that I love hates apples, and tries to tell me how terrible apples are, do I then stop eating apples? And if so, does this mean that my love for apples should be wiped away, simply because that person doesn’t like apples? And why did I love apples in the first place, if they’re so terrible? What was I missing during all the years that I did love apples?
I decided, after turning these things over in my mind, that there needs to be more love in the world, rather than less. Trying to dissuade those that I love from anything that they love is the wrong thing to do. I don’t need to love what they love, but I can see myself moving the focus of my hatred away from hate and at least toward tolerance. And I hope that the ones I love will understand that.
With that philosophical stuff resolved, or at least examined in more detail than usual, I can get back to writing about more meaningless stuff the next time around. Thanks for indulging me on this.