Looking at love may allow greater understanding of its nature and practice.

This is an original essay written by Edward fagan.

Looking at love in greater detail can help us gain a clearer and better understanding of the importance of love. It can also help us understand the wonderful quality and practice that constitute love.

A clearer understanding of the wonderful quality and practice that make up love can help us in several ways. Such understanding can help us develop love’s quality more completely, and master its practice more perfectly.

We’ll start with the correct, though different, definition of the word love. Love is outgoing care and concern for the next person. It is necessary to know that love exists through action. We give and receive love through the actions we perform toward each other.

The practice of outgoing care and concern for the other person, active practical love is important. This active practical love always indicates the presence in us, of love the inner quality.

Love, the personal quality and practice

In terms of language, love is both a verb and an abstract noun. Both love in action, expressed and practical, and love, the inner quality, are spiritually good. Love, the good spiritual quality, can be a permanent trait of our character during every moment of our existence.

When love, the inner quality, is present in us we practise love, the expressed action toward others. Our outgoing care and concern toward others will aim at helping their person, or their circumstances, or both.

Practised love builds or repairs all types of relationships. Love helps, gives to, cherishes, protects, maintains and preserves the other person and their circumstances.

Love never leads to harm or destruction of the other person. It is therefore impossible for someone to truthfully claim that they killed or harmed someone because they loved them.

We experience the presence of love, the good spiritual quality, when we practise it toward others. We also experience this quality when others practise it toward us.

Our response to our experience of the presence of love as givers or recipients matters.  That response may involve our experiencing a certain emotional state. This may result in the expression of one or another type of emotional behaviour. This happens, for example, in romance and marital situations.

Love’s permanence 

Love is always permanent. Emotional experience and expression do not perform the role of love, they come and go, they are not love.

They are, in a way, similar to sexual foreplay and sexual intercourse. These are not love, but are activities through which a husband and wife can express their love for each other.

There is a course of behaviour that can get in the way and prevent us from practising love. This course of behaviour can be avoided if we uphold certain practices in our daily living.

The practices we can uphold in our daily living to prevent behaviour that obstructs the practice of love include:

Honouring our parents, as well as others in authority over us, and our elderly

Avoiding to commit murder, and avoiding to harm the other person physically or otherwise

Practising faithfulness to the other person with whom we have a romantic or marital relationship

Refusing to steal from the other person

Speaking the truth or remaining silent about the other person, instead of telling lies against him or her

Refusing to covet that which belongs to the other person; refusing to practise envy or jealousy toward him or her.

Love, or outgoing care and concern for the other person, whenever it is practised, always faithfully serves its intended purpose. The practice of love can be the backbone of all human relationships if we would allow this to happen. It can be of great spiritual and other benefit to individuals and groups alike, wherever and whenever it is practised.

Expressing Love And The Ways of Doing So

By Edward Fagan

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Support given to the elderly and disabled freely by persons in the community is commendable.

Support giving is discussed by Rita, Musa and Monica while they wait in a long queue of vehicles at a service station under a heavily over cast sky. They would rather not be in this queue at all but are patient and understand the importance of people getting their hurricane supplies.

A hurricane is expected to reach land within the next two days. The prospect of a hurricane reaching land within such a short period always results in a rush to get extra hurricane supplies, including petrol and diesel for generators.

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“I am concerned for the welfare of the elderly, the disabled, pregnant women, the mentally ill, the incurably ill, those who are confined to bed because of illness, babies and very small children.”, Monica says.

She continues, “These groups are the most vulnerable among us during disasters such as hurricanes so they need our support more so than others during such disasters.””Our support can also be helpful to them when life returns to normal in the community following a natural disaster.”, Rita adds.

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“The kind of help that we can give as individuals in our community especially to the elderly and disabled can be very useful now.”, Rita says. “This is so because some of these people are being neglected or have been abandoned altogether by relatives.”, she continues.

“The healthcare and social services collectively provide modern professional health care and related assistance.”, Monica says.

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“The collective support of these services should be complemented at home by the support of individual family members.”, Rita adds. “Where such individual support is not available in the homes of our elderly and disabled, it can be provided by volunteers within the community.”, she continues.

“Our giving personal support to the elderly and disabled under normal conditions in our community is quite simple.”, Musa says.

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He gives a few simple guidelines to follow,”Care about the people we are supporting; be honest with them at all times; become friendly with them and get to know them well if they are not so well known to us; support the number of persons that we can practicably support; keep a list of the persons we are supporting in our community; and carefully record the necessary information about the persons we support such as the illnesses from which they suffer, the clinics they attend, the foods they must avoid and so on.

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Personal support we can give to the elderly and disabled within our community includes: ensuring their safety and wellness by daily visiting them in their homes; returning their phone calls; talking and listening to them; ensuring that they take meals, take their medication, keep appointments, meet basic commitments like bill payments, and access available and needed services; minimizing their transportation difficulties; and performing chores and errands for them.”

“Other points of assistance can be added to the ones identified here but these few are sufficient for us to start giving personal support to those who need it.”, Musa concludes.

By Edward Fagan

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Thought and action toward mentally ill persons should be without stigma.

Thought: why do we stigmatize mental illness and then in an attempt to avoid stigmatizing our relatives and friends who are suffering from mental illness, deny that they are suffering from such illness?

The answer to this question may be obvious, but would it not be better to stop stigmatizing mental illness? Would we not then be able to admit that our relatives and friends are suffering from mental illness without having to worry about the stigma of mental illness?

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We do not stigmatize diabetes, cancer, heart disease or high blood pressure. We thus do not see any need to deny that our relatives and friends suffer from these diseases. Mental illness is another disease like any other; it does not have to be stigmatized.

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Should we stop stigmatizing mental illness, this would allow us to seek professional help for our mentally ill relatives and friends at the earliest opportunity. (There would be no stigma to prevent us from admitting the presence of the disease in the early stage.) This early help could be sought without our experiencing a sense of shame due to the absence of any associated stigma. This early help should also allow the mentally ill the earliest and best chance of either recovering from their illness, or otherwise learning to live with the reality of the permanence of that illness.

By Edward Fagan

 

Refugee entry into certain countries should not be allowed under any circumstances.

Refugee entry should be made illegal by the United States and other western nations. These countries should only grant asylum to members of the Peshmerga and other ethnic Kurdish groups, and members of the Syrian and other regional Judeo-Christian communities.

It is important to note that all persons fleeing Syria and neighbouring countries are not refugees; many are mere opportunists seeking to take advantage of a situation that allows them a chance to settle in a country that offers an easier way of life and a higher standard of living.

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There also is the prospect of ISIS supporters posing as refugees, and joining the refugee mass and entering unsuspecting countries to carry out attacks later. There have been suspected cases of the occurrence of that situation, even recently, in Europe.

There also is the possibility that in the future, some of these same so called refugees or their offspring might become radicalized and take up arms on behalf of ISIS in the country where they have settled.

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What then is the alternative to allowing entry to those fleeing the crisis, and granting them temporary or permanent settlement? The United States and other western nations could encourage the Muslim countries in the region to accept the refugees into their countries for temporary or permanent settlement. This encouragement could be at all levels and could include linking the acceptance of refugees by the Muslim countries of the region to the granting of aid to those countries by the United States and western nations.

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When the Muslim countries agree to accept the refugees, the United States and other western nations could then commit the money and other resources they currently use to settle refugees within their borders, to be donated as aid to those Muslim countries who agree to accept the refugees. That aid could then be requested by those Muslim countries who accept the refugees, according to the needs of each country, in the form of money, shipping, air transport, personnel, technical and military assistance, various types of equipment, information technology, data, advice and other forms of assistance that might be considered necessary for the safe and trouble free transport of the refugees to, and settlement and temporary maintenance of the refugees in, those Muslim countries who accept them.

By Edward Fagan