The question was raised among a circle of friends, each longing for role models considered to be the most loving human beings.
“I think it was Christ. He was on the planet two thousand years ago and still millions of people celebrate his birth around the globe, remembering his love for humanity,” Cindy said.
“The first person that came to my mind was Buddha and his message of true love, serenity, inner peace, and mindfulness. He was a symbol of unconditional love,” Lee suggested.
Mary softly spoke, “Imagine a mother sitting on the ground looking at her son being crucified witnessing the agony. Without a doubt Mother Mary was the most loving human being that walked on this planet.”
Have you guys heard of Rumi? Mani asked. “He spoke the language of the soul, described the Divine Love in his poetry in a way that penetrates the heart. One who experiences the Divine Love radiates it to others. His poetry still eases the human suffering after hundreds of years.”
“Well, the question is not about the most influential humans on the planet, I long to know how to become a loving person. On an average day, before I know, I find myself shouting at my loved ones and critical of the most significant people in my life,” Adam asked.
“Yes, I agree, let’s come back to today, our own lives in the 21st century and the demands of a rat race lifestyle. I don’t know how to apply the wisdom of a loving person thousands of years ago to life in NYC in 2012.” Michael was asking for the group’s reflection.
“I think the most loving person is the one who loves humanity, not just one’s biological family, and devotes one’s life to bring love to others. To me, Mother Teresa exactly lived that life in our time bringing love to the unloved,” Sharon firmly suggested.
“Well, she was a Saint. I like to know how an ordinary person like me who is overwhelmed with life responsibilities, always feeling stressed, tired, and worried about making it on any given day, can be a loving person? Am I the only one who feels this way?” Alex asked.
The conversation that had started with a joyful beginning was becoming intense with feelings of frustration. The friends seemed to become impatient searching for viable answers, not an intellectual encounter. “For God’s sake, we are talking about love with good old friends and we just lost the moment. We are interrupting each other as this process is hopeless and perhaps a waste of time. Should we just talk about politics or sports? Bill asked. “Hey Ella, you haven’t said anything, what do you think?”
Ella smiled, “I can only speak for myself. I feel only a person who loves oneself unconditionally can love humanity exactly as it is. To me, self-love is the most valuable gift in life and perhaps the most challenging path. How does one learn to truly love oneself?”
The room became quiet and serene. The friends had smiles on their faces, a realization setting in. The journey starts from within.
It was a new beginning for the New Year, welcoming 2013.