One love?

September 12, 2010 at 12:59 pm (Uncategorized)

One heart. Let’s get together and feel alright.

I wonder where Bob Marley was when he wrote this song?  For all of the hardship Jamaica has faced (and still faces), this man must have had so much love in his heart to extend towards everyone across the world.  His message has reached millions of people.  I’m sure it’s cracked many smiles, and caused many hugs and tears.  It’s so simple.  The lyrics and the music are pretty straightforward. But aside from the song’s simplicity, it’s not that easy for some to understand and practice. 


Extending your love, respect and gratitude feels great when you are receiving these sentiments in return.  We all know what this feels like: on a great day, you could kiss the ground for how amazing it feels under your feet, you could hug the junkie who begs you for a dollar and buy him pizza, and you can make a funny face at a screaming, crying baby to cheer him up.  You can help hopelessly lost tourists by pointing them in the right direction with patience.  You can perform random acts of kindness.  You can say sweet things, smile and compliment strangers, and laugh at everyone’s jokes.  And damn, it all feels so good.

What about the other few days, when you don’t think you can “get together and feel alright”?  The day you get fired from your job.  The day you get hurt by someone you love.  The day someone you love passes away.  That day where there is nothing in your bank account, nothing in your fridge, nobody to talk to, and you are running on empty.  What next?

It seems as though it is all too easy to practice kindness, patience, love, and empathy on only our good days.  And as soon as something happens to upset you, do you throw all of these lovely qualities out the window?  It doesn’t matter how many “self-help” books you read, or how much you meditate.  We are not measured by how great we are when we are up – our true strength of character is measured by how consistently, and under what extreme conditions, we can still uphold these values.  You may try to love your stubborn father or insensitive partner on all of your good days… but how do you treat these people when you are feeling down?

My guess it that it is easy to get selfish.  To be sarcastic and rude.  To gossip, and say mean things about someone who may not be there to defend himself. To try to bring everyone down to your level, and condemn others for disagreeing with you, or simply just for being different from you.  To tear someone apart because they don’t think, act, or look like you.

Where is your one love now?

It is much easier to judge than to understand.  It’s faster.  It’s easier to join an angry mob than to risk stepping outside and really seeing what is happening.  But how do you feel about the choices you have made?

Bob knew it wasn’t that easy to live this way everyday.  That’s why he says to let them pass their remarks.  The people who say hurtful or mean things only make themselves look bad in the end.  It is self-destructive.  He suggested that we get together, because we are not human if we are alone – because we need each other more than we possibly know.

Thank you, Mr. Marley.  For inspiring us to keep one love in our hearts.  By his kind message, I hope we can all try to avoid hypocrisy and keep our love alive every day.  Treat others with respect, even if you feel rotten.  Try not to judge others because it is so much faster and easier to be close-minded and jump to conclusions.  Practice love EVERY DAY – not just the days when you finish a great chapter in your new self-help bestseller.  Put the book down and see for yourself.  Have your own thoughts and ideas about the world, and stay strong when the going gets tough.  We don’t need to buy books to teach us these principles.  Practice makes perfect. 

The next song on my playlist as I write this is “Is This Love”, my all-time favorite song.  I notice for the first time that there is no question mark at the end.  I think that means that it should never be a question.  “I wanna love ya, and treat you right”… and no questions need to be asked.  I hope we all feel the same way the next time we are tempted to be destructive and hurtful in our actions and words… and think about how to sustain your love “every day and every night”. 

Who needs philosophy class when good ol’ Bob is around?


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