Published Oct 19, 2020
Love comes in various forms and varying degrees. But the greatest kind of love is not loving yourself. Nor is it the love that you have for your family and friends. Rather, it is your love for humanity.
Why is that, you might ask. That’s because loving yourself or your family and friends is much easier than loving all of humanity.
For most of us, we form our identity based on our race, religion, skin color, and political leanings among others. We tend to identify with a certain group and call them “our people”. We also tend to be more welcoming towards people whom we regard as “one of us”. Yet we often regard with suspicion those who we think don’t belong in our social strata.
But have you ever felt a kinship towards humankind in general rather than just with a select group?
Only a few of us would have answered yes. But that is not entirely our fault. Most of our biases stem from the society we live in. Admit it or not, some of us grew up thinking that some groups of people are better than others. This stereotyping and xenophobia has been going on for some time – going all the way to when men started forming their own tribes.
This also makes love for humanity one of the most difficult kinds of love. It’s so easy to love those people whom you identify with. But it takes a special kind of courage to love people no matter who they are or where they came from.
Yes, I know it’s difficult to trust much less even love humanity with all the things going on in the world right now. But the wars, hunger, and pandemic we are currently going through make it all the more reason to spread love rather than hate. We already have so much of the latter and where did it take us? Maybe it’s time we try the former.
You may not realize it but you can show your love for others even with simple gestures. Here are some of them:
1. Always Look For The Good in People
Just like there are two sides to every story, we all have our good and bad sides too. Even hardened criminals have redeeming qualities in them. Robinhood was a villain in the eyes of the people he stole from. Yet, for the poor, he was a hero.
So don’t be quick to judge others based on the bad things they’ve done. Condemnation never brings out the best in people. Altruism and sympathy do. Thus, always remember to look for the good in people no matter how bad they may seem. Maybe all they need is for someone to understand them.
2. Focus on People’s Potentials
No matter how low someone may have sunk, they are still people with potential. Yes, they may have made stupid decisions at some point. But that doesn’t mean they can’t rise back up. That homeless guy you see on the street could be the next Michaelangelo or the next David Bowie. Everyone has potential, so instead of putting them down, help them realize it.
3. Choose to Love
If you are given an option between giving love or receiving love, which would you choose? The latter would make a more practical choice. After all, we all need someone to love us. Besides, loving others can be exhausting.
But what if we all think that way? That it’s better to be loved than to love? Where would humanity be? Most likely, we’ll all be doomed to a selfish existence where everyone lives only for him/herself. That would be a pretty sad world indeed.
4. Treat Everyone As Equals
Equality is one of the things that many of us have been fighting for. True enough, as humans, we are all created equal. We all need to eat, drink, and pee. We all exist under the same sky. We live on the same planet. So why do we have to treat each other differently?
Treating everyone as equals means letting go of all your biases and stereotypes. See people for who they are and not their jobs or bank accounts. Respect random strangers the way you respect your parents. If everyone will just do that, then the world would be a better place.
5. Love Yourself
You cannot give what you don’t have. So before trying to love others, try to love yourself first. Give yourself a pat on the back every time you do something good. Avoid criticizing yourself. Take care of your physical and mental health. Those are just some of the ways you can love yourself. Eventually, that love will pour out of you and into the people around you.
6. Love Everyone As You Would Your Brothers and Sisters
If you’re wondering how much love you should have for humanity, think about how much you love your brothers and sisters. Or if you don’t have one, think about how much you love your family. Most of us would be willing to lay down our lives for them. May we also show that kind of love for all of humanity.
Whether it’s your family or a stranger, the best way of showing love is forgiveness. All of us can make mistakes but not everyone can forgive. And if we do, we usually don’t extend that courtesy to people we don’t identify with. But everyone deserves second chances. Just like how God has forgiven us and accepted us back time and time again, we too should learn to forgive and accept others despite their shortcomings.
8. Show Compassion
In the dictionary, compassion is defined as the sympathetic pity for the misfortunes and sufferings of others. If you really want to show your love for humanity, start by caring about what other people are going through. Start with the homeless people you see on the street. Instead of shrugging them off as lazy bums, try to understand how they became homeless. Most of the time, they’re just victims of circumstances that are beyond their control. A little compassion can go a long way in helping them turn their lives around.
9. Give Back to the Community
Giving back to your community may not benefit all of mankind directly. But remember that a single drop of water can cause countless ripples. That small donation or the short time you spent volunteering can inspire others to do the same. Before you know it, you’re already creating ripples.
10. Smile Even to Strangers
Don’t underestimate the power of a smile. It not only lightens up your face, it can also brighten up someone’s day. Some people just need to have that spark of positivity in their life especially if they’re going through a rough day. Remember that when you smile, the whole world smiles with you.
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a full time blogger and is devoted to topics about charity, kindness, and Christianity. She is part of the Correct Digital, Inc SEO team, which is paid by private donors to provide website digital marketing services to this non-profit organization.