How Can You Love People?
Ever since I was young, I was the quiet one. Whether it was with family, school, or groups of friends. Similar to those like me, I would find an outlet or way of channeling my energy to spark a flame inside me. That flame flickered with life powered by a number of sources such as passion, interests, thoughts, and many other things. However, happiness was the flame’s source I was always most interested in.
Happiness isn’t an inherit trait among humans that you “just have.” You have to learn happiness. For me, a very easy method of obtaining this positive energy was by putting my focus on nature. I was in awe with it. The sky. Grass. Animals. Plants… just think about plants for a second. Life is literally popping up from the ground for us to consume. We make clothes from cotton, we make delicious recipes from tomatoes, jalapeños, etc. It truly is amazing how much power just one little thing in nature such as plants have. Without them, we wouldn’t survive. (Did I forget they are generous enough to give us fresh oxygen in exchange for our depleted breath?) So for these reasons, using just one instance in nature as an example, you can hopefully see why nature is so breath-taking (thanks photosynthesis!).
My admiration for nature led me to a new found hobby and passion for fishing. This “sport”… and I’m putting it in quotes so 90% of you don’t discredit me, but I will still use the word “sport” because it is one. However, I won’t get into that, it is for another post for another day… So this “sport” called fishing enabled me to enjoy nature at its fullest. There is nothing that compares to the tranquility you can experience on a flat glass-faced lake with thousands of fish swimming under you, the sun warming your back as the wind breezes over the water and lifts the bill of your hat just a tad to cool the sweat on your forehead. Then you look towards the bank of the cove and up towards the trees to spot a white-tailed deer gently strolling through the woods before getting spooked by a the crackle sound of dry wood. And BAM! Your adrenaline rushes through as your rod is yanked forward by a monster! You fight this 100lb beast and reel up to see… a… 5lber? Nothing a distorted camera lens and filter can’t fix! The uncertainty of what is on the end of your hook in the water coming up for the first time to face it’s hunter is what makes the “sport” something like no other.
No, this isn’t a fishing blog, well maybe it will turn out to be unexpectedly, but the point of this post is to help you understand experiencing nature in this way was my escape. Everyone needs an escape. You may use music, art, or even running to clear your mind from the stress and unfortunate mishaps we face day in and day out. Despite what that escape is, we need it to pull us out of the rough times. As I have emphasized, everything in nature is my escape. This includes us, humans. Besides the earth and its natural laws and life forms, the human race is the most impressive to me. Take for example, a small piece of us, our cell. One single cell is extremely complicated. Now take millions of those and add personality, voice, character, the brain, etc in addition to these cells and we have a single human. It’s fascinating to say the least.
Shortly after realizing how intricately put together we are, one has to take a moment to appreciate all the living and non-living things God has created. When I look at a person, I am reminded they are one of God’s creations and they should be respected, loved, and admired. No matter who they are or what they look like, friend, enemy, family, whoever it is, we need to love them. I have recently applied this method of thinking to my everyday life, so I’m not so quick to judge someone based solely on their exterior appearance. Even if they are our nemesis with a heart full of evil on the inside, we are to love them the same. You don’t have to be a Christian or even religious to think this is the right thing to do. Of course we aren’t perfect, and we will judge one another even without thinking about it, but we should be mindful of and agree with the fact that everyone should be loved, no matter who they are.
With that said, and once applied in your life, you will find yourself happier overall. You become in awe with the human race as I am with nature. You learn to see good in people and can commend yourself on trying your best to live by the Word. We begin to pride ourselves for our good deeds without publicly stating them, and without doing them with expectations of something in return. Every time I look around on campus while walking to my class, I always take a moment to admire the campus landscape and the people populating it. I become joyful with what I see, just as God was when he saw what he made was good.
Then all of a sudden I can’t look at someone without judging them or imagining what they do wrong. Why does he have that smirk on his face? Is he laughing with joy- no! He’s thinking of cruel thoughts and things to say that he finds funny. What about that girl over there who just cursed after stepping in a puddle. Oh her, she deserved it, always cussing when something doesn’t go her way. Why? Why the sudden change in attitude towards what I have been admiring and practicing for years? Why are my thoughts evil? Why do I have a new distaste for God’s human creation? I will say I do feel guilty, but I can’t help it after recently experiencing the most horrific event in my life, in my girlfriend’s life. Especially on Valentine’s day, this… this just can’t be happening. I’m waiting every hour to hear her say it was some elaborate, sick prank, but that time has not come yet, and quite terrifying to say the least, I dont think it will ever come. Every time I stroll on campus now, I look at the strangers around me wondering if they’re an attacker, are they the attacker? I can’t help but see the evil in everyone now that I have experienced this. I can’t help being the most hypocritical believer there is. I can’t love or treat people the same anymore now that I know what terrifying things they are able to do. I have lost my source of happiness. I know God will help me through, but this test of my faith is too much for me to handle as I try to maintain a Christ-like attitude and love for the world.