(Love is something I believe in. I don’t really understand, but this me trying.)
Knowledge is Power
I’ll let you in on a pretty well known fact about myself. I’m a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel (along with virtually anything Joss Whedon has done like Firefly, Serenity, and Dr. Horrible).
It’s not important that you share my taste on the subject (though you’d be surprised at how many people I’ve converted into fans). I just need you to understand that I, for lack of a better word love these shows.
Due to its rabid fanship, every single episode of Buffy and Angel has its very own Wikipedia page (I should also mention here that I love Wikipedia). Each page is filled with behind the scenes facts, continuity information, and general insight into the fictional world Joss Whedon has created.
I’ve read each and every one of these pages because I want more.
I’m not satisfied with the surface level, with the simple experience you get by watching an episode. I want to know how it was made, how it ties in, how people interpret it, why things happened the way it did.
I want to understand these two shows because I “love” them and they are a part of my life (no joke, I hold a very strong belief Whedon’s writing has had a profound impact on the way I communicate as a whole)
Lately, I’ve been striving to love people. Like actually “love how the Bible tells you to love” people. It’s tricky, hard, frustrating, but slowly, I’ve began making progress…and observations. One of them is this:
If you love a person, you want to know them.
Not just “will you marry me” love. I mean like friendship/feed the homeless/ adopt a puppy love. If I say I love someone but know nothing beyond what their Facebook page could tell me, I probably don’t really love them.
A False Love
A few months back a friend of mine told me a little story. She said her friend had recommended the book “Irresistible Revolution” to her. He went on about how much he loved the book and how it was his favorite book.
About halfway into the book, my friend struck up a conversation with her friend only to discover that he had never finished the book. In fact, the guy had only read the first four chapters or so.
This bothered quite a bit.
How can someone claim to love a book they never finished? That’s like saying you love pizza just because you have smelled it before.
I’ve read “Irresistible Revolution” cover to cover. I highlighted parts. I even quote it from time to time and yet I’m not sure I would say I love it.
I’m just not sure I grasp it well enough to make that claim.
What to do, what to do…
Think of a person you have known that genuinely loves people. I bet that person loved to hear other people talk and share their stories. I bet that person knew the people in their life very well and had a constant desire to know the people they met on a day to day basis.
I’ve come to see that with love comes a desire to know more. Sadly, this can be easily missed.
All the people we encounter on a day to day basis. A co-worker, a cashier, a stranger on the street. Do we shy away from hearing personal details? Do we roll our eyes as they begin sharing from their life?
My advice? Take interest. Get over yourself, and take interest.
If you aren’t used to it, it isn’t easy. I’m still struggling with it. But I believe as I find out more about people, I’ll care more about people. And that is something that other people can see. It might even be something that can change the world.
So quick ask yourself, what do you really know about the people in your life? Do you really love them or are you just pretending?