An agenda for loving

What's really the most important priority we have?

Have you ever considered what a difference you could make in the world if you started every list of "things to do" with "love more"—and then faithfully did it? But this couldn't be done through a sense of love that is constantly selective, bestowing itself on this one or that one but not on someone else. It needs to include everyone.

I hadn't thought specifically about the vital importance to the world of my own expression of deeper, wider-ranging, less personally oriented care and attention until I read An Agenda for the 21st Century, a series of interviews from The Christian Science Monitor by Rushworth M. Kidder. After distilling the observations of twenty-two thinkers from many walks of life whose perceptions of world problems make up this book, Mr. Kidder leaves the reader with this hopeful—but gravely searching—conclusion: Whether we make the next century "an age worth inhabiting" depends mostly on us, on "individuals everywhere ... building within themselves a sounder society from the ground up." An Agenda for the 21st Century (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1987), p. 205 . It will, he indicates, demand developing more trustworthiness and compassion; acknowledging every person's innate dignity and worth; and consistently striving to uplift one's personal values and standards.

To me that says that even though you and I may feel we're not doing much toward solving the world's immense problems—such "first-intensity" issues, to use Mr. Kidder's phrase, as the nuclear threat, the widening economic gap between developed and developing nations, the decline in public and private morality, burgeoning and disproportionately aging populations (to name just a few of the biggest issues)—we are in fact doing the single most important thing of all when we humbly, persistently endeavor to bring more love to every aspect of our daily experience.

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"Ye are of God, little children"
December 4, 1989

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