I thank God everyday for the unconditional love I have in my life. I’m so lucky to have a girlfriend, family, and friends who love me even when I do stupid things or am sinful. And yes, it feels good to be so loved, but there’s a societal benefit to that love as well – it tames my human instinct for greed.
I, like anyone else, have impulses that I’m not proud of. Let’s take business school as an example. Being in business school, I’ve learned a lot about how to make money. As a result, I’ve developed a strong ambition to make money, make impact, and make things happen. On the one hand, this ambition is important because it compels me to act and give effort toward things. On the other hand, it compels me to take, and take ruthlessly.
If unchecked, this ambition will become greed. I know this to be true, because it’s a theme that runs throughout history. I am not immune to this the fallibility of human nature.
And that’s where love comes in. It checks my ambition and greed.
The love that Robyn, my family, friends, and even strangers sometimes, give me is not something I feel afraid of losing. I feel secure in it and know it is there to catch me when I am at my lowest. It’s something I can lean on.
That love is enough for me to be happy. Even if I’m not successful in my career or in other pursuits, having and giving love fills me up. Because I have and give love, I do not have to worry about replacing the space it occupies with money, prestige, or power.
This is good, because when money, prestige, and power become an end in themselves, it makes us do funny things. It makes us behave unethically and robotically. At best, the lust for money, prestige, and power stress us out. At worst, that lust will drive us to madness.
Even though, I think hippy-dippy interpretations about love in society are bit superficial, I think those that talk about society needing more love are on to something. Love isn’t just something that’s nice to have as an individual. Because it’s a calming force that tempers greed and the darkest parts of our humanity, love is something society depends on.