Love In A Big World: Love wins

October 9th, 2017

When I picked up my eleven-year-old son from school Monday afternoon, October 2, 2017, I knew I had to tell him about what had happened the day before in Las Vegas. Since we live in Nashville, the home of country music, our city and, particularly, the music community were significantly impacted by the horrific event. In fact, I know people who were playing there that night. I gave my son the highlights, and then he turned on NPR, his favorite station. We listened to the top stories for about fifteen minutes as we sat in traffic, and he declared, “I can’t take anymore. All this talk about the shooting, the hurricanes and everything else…that’s enough,” and he turned off the radio.

I was proud of my son. He exercised the competencies of both social awareness and self-awareness. According to CASEL, social awareness is being aware of the needs of others, and the Love In A Big World traits that map to this competency include Respect, Fairness, Courtesy and Kindness.  Per CASEL, self-awareness is being aware of the needs of yourself and the Love In A Big World traits that map to this competency are Self-Awareness, Humility, Patience, Honesty and Gratitude.

During these days of unprecedented uncertainty, we must be ever mindful of our personal limitations for the news of the hour and find ways to celebrate the beauty of the present moment…a phone call with an aging parent, the smell of coffee in the morning, a song that moves the soul, a walk in the falling leaves, a hug from a child.

Likewise, we must be intentional about creating a safe place for our kids. They deserve a childhood. They need to laugh and play, sing and paint. It reminds me of one of the opening scenes of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. The four Pevensie children, who are sent to the country during the war to live with an uncle they don’t know, play hide-and-go-seek in the expansive mansion. That’s what precipitates their adventures in Narnia and their encounter with Aslan.

Although we are living in desperate times, I have hope. What I continually hear on the news and see on my social feeds is the heartfelt cry, “We must be kinder to each other…we need to spread love.” It’s as if we are awakening from a stupor and realizing for the first time what is most important — ”faith, hope and love…and the greatest of these is love”. The love of God for us is immeasurable; he is Emmanuel, God with us. Our response is love for him and love for each other.

Together let’s practice these simple things:

  1. Know your limits. It’s okay to unplug from the news and social media.
  2. Celebrate beauty. Enjoy little things.
  3. Play with children. Kids bring life into perspective.
  4. Spread love. Your smile and kind words do make a difference for someone’s day.

Let us “not grow weary of doing good”, my friends. Remember, Love wins!

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