The other day I received a private message on Facebook. It was much like a chain letter that had to be sent to 20 people I love and back to the person who sent it, unless of course I did not love that person. Whew! Such guilt. It is as if some Mother was trying to get her child to behave and laying on the guilt. It even provided instruction of how to send to 20 people.
Silly me, I was curious what the method of instructions would offer so I did as it said only to find that the message then was sent to some people I am only friendly with. Some may be not even so much as friendly. To say the least it was awkward. So then I had to make a post on Facebook addressing the issue that this had been sent to a few. Further explaining that I am not a mushy sort and if I like you, you know it. Absolutely nothing against the person who sent the private message. So many these days feel they have to offer warm and cozy messages to the entire world. Some also feel then need to tell us what the Bible says just to remind us to be good people, I guess.
So since the internet offers so much information, I decided to find out just what is meant by the word love. Just as I thought Webster’s defines it as “a feeling of intense and constant affection for a person” There is of course the sexual side of love which Webster’s also offers….for the most part though that can be mere infatuation. My thought, not Webster’s.
The Brits have a lovely way of referring to someone who is a dear as “love”. More or less for a kind, helpful person yet it goes beyond that and acts like “you” many times in conversation such as “thanks love”. It actually makes the day a little bit better when that is said. All the while knowing that the person does not love you, simply offering a little softer touch for everyone encountered.
After my post I received another message from the sender of the original chain message saying that “Love always counts”, like I don’t know love counts, yet for most people in many different ways.
Personally I don’t think love is something we can tell someone how to do, be or act. Love as stated in the Bible (1 Corinthians) since so many who want to tell us how to love also refer to the Bible, yet perhaps have not really understood the message, is that love is patient, love is kind, love does not envy, does not boast, it is not proud. People so many times spout love yet do not actually have love. They are merely a resounding gong or clanging cymbal. It is what society has taught us, much like materialism. It is something that is supposed to be said or expressed even if one does not actually know much about a person.
I think we have become a society that is very superficial, synthetic and truly without much depth. People who know me, really know me, also know if I care for them or not. They also know that I will leave a fancy dinner party, dressed in my best dress and shoes to come help them change a flat tire in the rain if that is indeed what they need. That is demonstrating how I care for someone. I do not have to say I care because it is a given. I will tell my daughter I love her because she is family and that has a different meaning and should.
The 60s and 70s were a beautiful time in the world. It was a love one another time yet it was a sincere time of love, not what we see today. Somewhere along the way, love spouting has become a way to gain points. To feel good. To look better in the eyes of others when in actuality it should really be all about caring.
So I have learned a very valuable lesson. Albeit an awkward one because quite frankly I am embarrassed that the message was sent to some I don’t even know very well. They are on my Facebook page and I exchange posts with them because I feel they are either like minded or they have a different slant on things then I may encounter in my world in a small town. To tell them that I love them, though is whoa, way out there with Mars. It is so inappropriate I can’t even come up with the words to express. So I will be much more careful now with my curiosity of how things work on Facebook. I will stick to my old values, my old ways and operate as I always have with a big caring heart that doesn’t need a billboard to make it known.
My Dad always offered a grace, blessing if you will over family dinners….and that went…
blessed oh Father and these thy gifts which we are about to partake and make us ever mindful of the needs and wants of others.
That more or less sums it up….”make us ever mindful of the needs and wants of others” which would mean across the board caring without discrimination or selectiveness. The world would be so much better if we could just be more mindful and caring. Less superficial, less in need of personal recognition and strokes. Less need to broadcast love when we only feel like. If we could just change tires in the rain for that friend in need and offer a dinner, not left overs, to a homeless person on the street, gosh just think what could happen.
So if someone thinks I need to send a message back to them for them to know I care, then they really have missed the point of life and love for that matter.
Please be mindful of the needs and wants of others…it will indeed make the world a better place and your world as well.