One event in my life history that has shaped who I am is reading the book, Chicken Soup for the Soul. More specifically, the first chapter of the book, which all the stories are about love, and its importance in being ever-present in our everyday lives. If I could, I would rewrite word-for-word every one of the stories right here, but that would just take us off-track, and wouldnt be very professional of me. So Ill just elaborate on how and what the chapter did to change me to the very core of my being.
I always had held love highly in my list of values and principals. It's not like my life was devoid of love before I'd read the chapter, or anything like that. I just never made the connection of the importance of love in the world and myself, and how I could and needed to express the love I was being given every second on a daily basis. There was a part of me that I always believed was right that did its best to condemn no one, and accept everyone I came in contact with to the best I could. I didn't really have to love them, and I didn't really have to like them, I just had to let them know that I was their friend. Now, although this was an extremely kind way to behave, it was by no means convenient. I made (and still have to this very moment) some of the most obnoxious, embarrassing, and irking people on the planet considering themselves and I to be best of friends. When they're around I'll act more than kind, but when they made their leave I'd be more than gracious. After reading the aforementioned chapter, I decided I would consciously stop letting them put me into an irritated mood, and genuinely begin enjoying their company. It is, by no means, an easy task, but so far my results have been decent, and I think if I keep to it I may forget all the things I thought to annoy me.
One of the most fun things I've done in reaction to the chapter, is the way I've decided to send love out to the world in thanks for the love I've received and just to show others they're loved too. And that is by giving random, loving hugs to people I see every day. If I know them, they'll expect the greeting, but if it's someone who I just felt could use the kindness, I'll walk up, hold open my arms and ask in the most enthusiastic voice I can, "excuse me, but you seem to be having a hard day and I'd love to lighten your load a bit. Would you like a free hug". It may sound like it's not much, and I could be doing something that's known to produce more results, but I believe entirely in the effectiveness of it. After reading all the stories about the power of a loving hug, I have no doubt in my mind it is one of the most result-producing actions I could have taken to express my love for humanity and the world we live in. I quote Virginia Satir, a noted, famous psychologist who once said, "We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth". This I find to be one of the most true quotes I've ever heard. So remember, if you're just feeling a little down one day for no discernible reason, ask yourself- did you get your daily dose of hugs today?
In accordance to the last subject I'd like to talk about lastly the largest project I've taken on yet with my newfound appreciation for love. I have set a goal that by the time I've graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School, that by the time you've read this, every person in that school will have the uncontrollable love for love in their heart. They will all give and accept any hug or act of kindness offered to them, and we will all be kin to another. It will be the most extraordinary set of classes to ever graduate this school, and when they go out into the world, I swear on my heart, on my very soul, they will spread this love throughout the world. We will all, some day, feel the kindness our fellow human has to give. We're all in this together, this thing we call existence. Whether or not you realize that the person sitting across from you in the café is part of your life, or not, they are. They are with you in the same world you live in, and they will experience many of the same things you do. Anger, fear, hate, love, kindness, sincerity, euphoria
All of it, you will both find at some point in your life. I dont know how to say it any better; were all in this together. Why not connect to them? I want you, the next time youre alone, buying coffee, reading in the library, getting your car fixed, etc. to go about whatever it is youre doing with an ever-living love in your heart for those around you. And I want you to mean it. I want you to offer them hugs, at least one, and I promise, you will find more joy in giving a simple thing like a hug than anything else you could have offered.
I know Im drabbling on much farther than I needed to in order to get my point, or thesis, or whatever youd call it across, so Im going to end now with a quote from one of my favourite films of all time. You may recognize it, you may not, but in it is expressed one of the greatest truths Ive ever felt in my life. The love for all around you. For every human being on this planet, and the confirmation, the finite knowledge that we are in no way whatsoever, alone. This is a message for you. You, holding this paper, reading with your beautiful, deep eyes. I want to tell you everything I can about how much I love you, but I think this quote can do it better than any words that could come from my mind. This line is perfect for the purpose.
"I hope that whoever you are, you escape this place. I hope that the world turns, and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you.
From V for Vendetta