So, Osama bin Laden is dead and the western world is celebrating. Does this mean the end of terrorism? Certainly not. The Islamic terrorist organizations will continue their war against the western culture just like the western countries will continue to bomb the Islamic countries. I’m not surprised if the war against the western people will be more passionate than ever. After all, the Americans just made their leader a martyr.
Revenge and all the endless wars are a result of one thing. They’re the result of misunderstandings and prejudices that cause hate, and all this is caused by lack of love. All negativity in this world is caused by lack of love. So why can’t we change the way we think and instead of hating a culture we don’t even understand anything about just embrace all differences we have and simply love each other?
A Christian might say that we cannot love someone who treats women like slaves and dresses them in robes. Or that we cannot love people who abduct an airplane and fly it to a tower full of people. A Muslim might say that we cannot love someone who treats women as sex objects and openly admires them more the skinnier they are. Or that we cannot love someone who starts bombing a poor country killing thousands of people. The simple fact is that if every single one of us knew the power of love and forgiveness, this world could live in peace. We would not have to take revenge on someone because they have killed one person more or dropped one bomb more than we have. We would simply forgive them. Because let’s face it, peace cannot come until someone learns to forgive.
Love isn’t just some funny feeling that tickles in your stomach when you meet someone you’re drawn to. Love is an overall view of life. It is complete acceptance. Now it surely seems weird to love everyone when you know that they will not yet understand what love actually is. They will answer your smiles with weird looks. They will not understand to thank you when you do something kind for them. But this is simply because they don’t know, and you should not judge them for that, because judging someone is not love. If you know what love is, you know not to expect anything back from them. And let’s hope that one day they all will know.
You might wonder that if we love others and they don’t love us, aren’t we just surrendering ourselves to all the miseries of life? If you do wonder this, you have forgotten that loving everyone also means loving yourself. You cannot expect anyone else to love you if you do not love yourself. Loving yourself does not mean placing yourself and your benefits ahead of those of others. It means acting out of love in whatever you do, because believe it or not, it always comes back to you. Punching someone who punched you is not acting out of love. After all, what does it in the end give you? Satisfaction? Punching back just brings you to the same level of ignorance the other person dwells in.
If you really think about it, love is, or at least should be, the force that moves you. People should not do anything that they don’t love. Of course you might have to make a few sacrifices on the way and write an essay instead of sitting in the sun when the ultimate goal is to be able to do a job that you love more than anything. But in the end, everything you do in life should be based on love. What else should it be based on? What else actually even makes any sense?
But shouldn’t we then defend what we love from others’ hatred? Of course we should, but not by showing hatred back at them, but by loving! Why would fundamental Islamic organizations bomb us if the only thing they got from us would be love? Why would they bomb us if we only respected their way of living? If we think their way of treating women is contemptuous then we should not judge them, but help them understand what love really is about. This does not mean marching to their countries and telling them that they’re wrong, look how far that has gotten us. Besides, I’m quite sure they think our way of treating women is contemptuous.
Teaching people to love does not happen within a day, but it has to start from somewhere. It has to start from those who know. And learning to love everyone unconditionally without expecting anything in return is not easy; it will probably be one of the most difficult things you will ever try to learn. So many times a day you will slip into being annoyed by something your friend said to you. But the day you first learn to forgive yourself for being annoyed, and then forgive yourself for reacting to what he said, and then finally understand that there’s even nothing to forgive because you weren’t insulted in the first place, you will forever live in peace.
So why did we even become the way we are? Even though the Islamic fundamentalists might base all their violent acts on religion, Muhammad also spelled the words “He is not strong and powerful who throweth people down; but he is strong who witholdeth himself from anger”. And all Christians should know that Jesus told the people of his time to love others like they love themselves. So what is wrong with the people who dare to call themselves the followers of these two wise men who wanted love in this world we live in?
After all, the only thing that should matter is that love is the best feeling in the world. That cannot be denied by anyone, and basing any contradicting actions on anger, superiority, or something someone might have said 2000 years ago is nothing but pathetic.