If you love someone who is hungry, you will give them food; someone who is thirsty, you will give them water; someone who is cold, you will give them your coat. If you love someone who is sick, you will care for them until they are well; someone who is in prison, you will visit them; someone without a home, you will take them home with you. These are all acts and deeds those who love do for the people they love. Yet love is far more than the doing of any particular act or deed.
While those who love people will do the things we just mentioned, simply doing "good deeds" is not the same as loving. Many who do not love do "good deeds". Many who say they love, and perhaps even believe they love, if they love at all, do so only halfheartedly and from moment to moment.
It is hard to say that someone who feeds a person when they are hungry and then leaves them to find their own shelter really loves that person. It is hard to call love the giving of money to an orphanage, when children's cries for attention and companionship go unanswered. It is difficult to understand how someone can say they love a person when they make that person feel they need to applaud their donor for every gift they receive.
Love is far more than acts, deeds, words, or feelings. To love someone, really love someone, is to give them all you have to give, true, deep, pure, indefinable, indescribable love. It is giving to others the love that you will find and understand if you complete your search of heart, mind, and soul.
We said we seldom, maybe never, see true love. You may have witnessed, or been part of, one of those rare occasions when people truly love other people. When a mother gently hugs her baby and love flows between them, when two people's eyes meet and they exchange soft smiles that flow from the love in their hearts, when someone gives all they have to help someone in need. These are moments of true love, moments we choose to give one another. What we are talking about is love - true, pure, real, love.
If you love, you will help a stranger who needs help, even if it puts you in danger. If you love, you will think first about the needs of those you love, and only then think about your own needs. If you love, you will do what you can, all you can, for everyone you meet.
Those who really understand love know in their heart, mind, and soul that love is the greatest thing in life one human being can give another. If you truly love someone you are giving them your very best. We have reached an awkward point in trying to use language to describe a state of being which affects the totality of human existence. How can we adequately describe how a person who truly loves thinks, feels, and acts? We can't.
Only you can search within yourself to know and understand love. Unless you have completed your search of your heart, mind, and soul and know and understand love, you will not understand what I am saying, or what anyone else is saying when they tell you about the love they find in their heart, mind, and soul. So how can you understand what we are saying when we say love is the best part of human life?
Regardless of human inability to describe love, you and I and everyone else can look inward to know and understand love. And when you, or I, or anyone else, completes their search and knows and understands love, we know and understand that love is indeed the most positive element of human existence. We know that the very best each of us can do is to love. We may find it difficult to talk about love with someone who has not yet finished their search, however once a person understands love they join all others who have completed their search in a communion of knowledge which makes communication of ideas about love easy, and makes what is said clear.
If you have trouble visualizing love, it may be helpful for you to travel in your mind to a world where pure love is freely given by every human being to every other human being. Do not let the fact that such a world does not exist around you discourage you. We may never choose to fill our world with pure love. Yet because each of us can choose love, such a world is possible! Let yourself feel in your heart, mind, and soul the love such a world would be filled with.
Visualize in your heart, mind, and soul a place where you love every person, and where every person loves you. Feel the joy of love flowing from you to every person, and from every person to you. No war, or even anger, no prisons. No loneliness, no hunger, no poverty. Instead that world would be an incredible place filled with peaceful joys of love not only shared by, but in fact chosen by, all who live there.
It may take minutes, or it may take years, for you to enter that world in your imagination and feel the glowing warmth and peace. Now is the time to start your trip. If visions of a place filled with love do not come to you today, try again tomorrow, or next week. Keep letting your heart, mind, and soul drift off to a world of pure love. Love every person you meet in that world and let them love you in return.
At this point you should sit back and think about what is being said, for in these few pages we have jumped from looking for something worth living for, to the suggestion that you search yourself for an understanding of love, to the idea that all people should love one another. If you have not searched your heart, mind, soul, your very being, and do not yet understand love, what we are saying may seem interesting but not profound. I wish I could think of words and logical arguments that would make true, pure, real, love, crystal clear to you, but I can't. We are simply not talking about the kind of understanding that comes from reasoned analysis. I could fill these pages with elegant prose and poetry describing love, yet not one word would have the power or effect that even a fleeting inward glimpse of love has.