Loving enough to see perfection

Several summers ago our family was driving through the mid-western section of the United States. The variety and beauty of the land were overwhelming to me. These were places that as a child, living in another part of the world, I had seen pictured in textbooks and magazines. Now my heart overflowed with gratitude for the opportunity to actually see such places, walk there, smell the smells, feel the different textures. At one point I found myself removing my sunglasses, for I was eager to see everything as it actually was—the real colors and clear shapes. All became brighter, more beautiful, and I loved it!

During a quiet driving period I pondered on how a genuine appreciation of this land and what it stands for had forced me to take off the tinted lenses so I could see the true colors. All of a sudden the question came: Do I care enough about man to want to see him as he really is? Obviously, a perfectly good set of material eyes, with or without sunglasses, was of no help.

Long after the vacation was over, this question kept coming to me frequently. I realized that I had not honestly faced and answered it. During periods of harmony one does not question others' lovableness; but when discord dominates the scene, those other people turn unreasonable, stubborn, unloving, as if by magic! Then it dawned on me that the reason I was seeing unreasonable, unfair individuals at such times was that I was looking through the lens of self-justification, self-pity, pride, or fear.

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Brothers, let us love one another
November 30, 1981

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