When we love, we are opening the door to wonderful, literally a world full of wonder.
When we see love as the will to nurture one's own or another's growth, revealed through acts of care, respect, knowing, and assuming responsibility, the foundation of all love in our life is the same. There is no special love exclusively reserved for romantic partners. Genuine love is the foundation of our engagement with ourselves, with family, with friends, with partners, with everyone we choose to love…
But some struggle to find this path to love because they carry the wounds of the past.
The wounded child inside many males is a boy who, when he first spoke his truths, was silenced by paternal sadism, by a patriarchal world that did not want him to claim his true feelings. The wounded child inside many females is a girl who was taught from early childhood that she must become something other than herself, deny her true feelings, in order to attract and please others…
Schools for love do not exist. Everyone assumes that we will know how to love instinctively, and despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, we still accept that the family is the primary school for love. Those of us who do not learn how to love among family are expected to experience love in romantic relationships, however, this love often eludes us…
The word "love" is most often defined as a noun, yet all the more astute theorists of love acknowledge that we would all love better if we used it as a verb.
Cornel West said that justice is what love looks like in public, and one way to think of humanism is as a commitment to living love as a verb, in public, seeking to transform the world into one of justice. I believe in the power of humanity to transform the world and to build the Beloved Community envisioned by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others.
Humanism builds community by centering Ten Commitments.
The first commitment is critical thinking. Being able to evaluate information or to ask questions is a skill, and we need to keep building it throughout our lives.
The second commitment is Ethical Development. The first step of this step is to remember that no human is perfect or has all the answers.
Third, Humanists have a strong commitment to achieving social justice and affirming the value and worth of every person, which they believe is the road to world peace for all of humanity. Humanists are committed to repairing harms and building equity (removal of all barriers for all people) for all. The beauty of this commitment is that we can all have different goals, and that widening circle of concern as we each attend to our commitments and purposes, each responding to differing needs of the world.
Fourth, is a commitment to serve to fulfill the needs of the world.
Fifth is empathy, and sixth is humility.
Seven is environmentalism. We have one home – the earth.
Commitment eight is an intent to seek the stories and knowledge of many.
Nine is responsibility to claiming your mistakes, making amends to those harmed, and to be accountable.
Finally, humanists are committed to altruism, or the selfless concern for the welfare of all other people. It is a commitment to end suffering. Caring for others allows us to be cared for by others, because we form the nearly unbreakable bond of community. No one teaches us how to love. We must watch others and learn from observation. We will all get our hearts broken at least once, even if that once is not romantic. But there is one lesson to know of love. It is messy, because we are all flawed human animals, and we each hurt and have been hurt. Hurt might hide the love for a while, but since love is a form of energy, it never fully dissipates.
Bell hooks said that love is a combination of care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect, and trust.” We do not get a manual to learn how to love, but if we are willing to open our eyes and deepen our commitments, we discover all sorts of people and their stories, and they are the perfect guides to discovering and witnessing love.
Love is the most wondrous of human emotions. It is part instinct, part hope. Love has the power to heal our world and all who inhabit it.
Dicken’s A Christmas Carol is a holiday tradition for many, and I wanted to share part of the lyrics from the songs from my favorite version of the familiar tale. The songs are called “Bless Us All” and “The Love We Found” and they are from The Muppets' Christmas Carol. They begin with Tiny Tim singing to his family, with Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present watching in their spirited forms, and it ends with Scrooge singing with the family after he presents the giant goose. Here are the lyrics…
Life is full of sweet surprises
Every day's a gift The sun comes up And I can feel it lift my spirit It fills me up with laughter It fills me up with song
I look into the eyes of love And know that I belong Bless us all who gather here
Bless us all, and as we live
We always comfort and forgive
We have so much that we can share With those in need we see around us everywhere
The love we find
We carry with us so we're never quite alone
It is the season of the heart A special time of caring The ways of love made clear And it is the season of the spirit The message if we hear it Is make it last all year
It's in the giving of a gift to another A pair of mittens that were made by your mother It's all the ways that we show love A part of childhood we'll always remember It is the summer of the soul in December
Let us always-
Let the love we feel for each other
Lead us to the light
Let us hear the- -
voice of reason
Singing in the night
Let us run from anger
And catch us when we fall
Teach us in our dreams
And please, yes please-
-bless us one and all
Bless us all with playful years With noisy games and joyful tears
We reach for you and we stand tall
And in our prayers and dreams we ask you Bless us all…
Humanity is a wonder.
We are all wonders of the world.
You are a wonder.
When we all get to that place when the Beloved community is achieved, our humanlight will be a wonderlight – shining from an earth where all live in love and appreciation for the wonderous diversity of the world.
We are not there yet. But we can keep building a new way, and slowly, slowly, the world will get there. Because humanlight is a light purely powered by love. We are currently moving into winter, a season of rest and rejuvenation, but after winter comes spring. And if we start with love as our seed to plant during the growing season, it will grow into something wonderful.
We each carry wounds. Let this be the year they heal. Let this be the year we help others heal.
Let us love.
Then, let us - like Scrooge - see the sun rise on a world that we are seeing through new eyes.
That is the power of Humanlight.
delivered to UU Santa Fe; 18 December 2022
bell hooks; All Above Love
A Muppet Christmas Carol, 1992