The quiet quality that uplifts

Adapted from an article published in The Christian Science Monitor, March 14, 2016.

Scientists have made a powerful discovery that appears able to improve everyone’s life. Reports indicate it works on individuals, families, communities, economies, and nations. Interestingly, it appears that too little of this substance may explain the coarsening of language and the hardening of hearts so evident in politics and the media. Lack of it also might be responsible for everything from substance abuse to the anxiety many people say they feel despite the unprecedented security, better health, and affluence the world is experiencing.

And here’s the kicker: It’s free, it’s abundant, and you can’t overdose on it.

The substance is philia, which goes by its generic name brotherly love. In his book The Four Loves, C. S. Lewis described the other brands of love as affection, passionate love, and spiritual love. Philia is rarer than those. It is responsible for companionability, friendship, and sociability. Lewis described philia as both unnecessary and essential: “It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

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'To Bless All Mankind'
The power behind brotherly love
May 23, 2016

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