RIP Nelson Mandela

by Brandon

I think most people have it backwards when it comes to “reality.”

All too often, I hear people confuse pessimism with reality.

“The world is a harsh place,” they say. “People are selfish and greedy by nature. War is a fact of life. That’s not pessimism. That’s reality.”

Life is hard. Life is suffering.

Blah blah frickin’ blah.

Whether those statements are true or not, they aren’t complete. They only speak to a portion of reality.

See, I think there’s a deeper reality to life that these “realists” are ignoring. Hell, depending on my mood, I often ignore it.

But throughout history, there have been people who truly understood reality.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Gandhi. John Lennon. Jesus of Nazareth. Oskar Schindler.

The list goes on and on. There are too many to name. Some are rock stars, some are activists, some are religious icons. They come from all walks of life, but they share one very important trait:

They all recognize that love is the most powerful force on the planet.

Yeah, yeah. I know how that sounds. I know it sounds like hippie bullshit. And, to a degree, it is.

But it’s also reality.

The fact is, unconditional, unselfish, unrestrained love has the power to cure almost all of the world’s problems.

If we could just allow ourselves to love everybody, we wouldn’t have war. We wouldn’t have political vitriol.

Love truly has the power to overcome all these things. As long as democrats hate republicans and republicans hate democrats, no substantive progress is going to be made. As long as Christians hate Muslims and Muslims hate Christians, the religious wars will continue and they will continue to be bloody.

Truces won’t solve these problems. They might help, but they won’t solve them.

But love… truly loving each other would end the bullshit.

And I’m not talking about the fake-love we tend to spew when we talk about people we despise. I’m not talking about the kind of “love” where the phrase “I’ll pray for you” is just a way for us to feel superior to another person.

I’m talking about genuine love. Unconditional love. I’m talking about loving these people so much that their pain is our pain.

It’s that love that can save the world, if only the world could accept that the answer is, in fact, that easy.

Most people can never accept it. Most people hear things like what I’ve said here and they say, “It’s a nice thought, but it’s pointless and extremely naive. There’s no damn way that could ever happen.”

Well, throughout history, some people have stood up and said, “No. I will never accept that believing in the power of love is foolish. Never.” Many of those people died defending the idea that love is the answer.

Nelson Mandela was one of those people.

And for that, he is truly a world hero.

RIP Mr. Mandela. Thank you for inspiring the world.


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