To Love and Be Loved

Holli Sullivan - Brazil

September 28, 2011

I spoke with a traveler last night who taught me a lot of things, He told me of his journeys around almost the entire world. Told me of the people he loved, the cities he hated, and the things he learned from each place. So many stories and lessons can be learned from anyone who has experienced so many different places…But this man had a different way of traveling I could see. Enough money to make himself comfortable at all times, much like I’ve always been used to. He said things about places he’d never been, and never would go, or even think about going to. I saw myself in him, my old self anyways. Judging these places, full of fear of these people. Not arrogant, not even ignorant. More uninformed, unseasoned if you will. I will tell you, from the eyes of the stereotypical rich man, there are no reasons to wander into these corners of the earth, because doing so would do nothing but eliminate comfort and induce feelings of fear. We’re all human, why would any of us willingly search for and chase fear itself? Why not take advantage of the wonderful opportunity to be in constant comfort and safety?

At first glance, it really makes no sense, and I am telling you this from first-hand experience as one of these people. I know these thoughts and recognize these feelings. Never did I think this program would have the capability of stretching my brain and taking me as far out of my bubble of security as this. “This?!” You might wonder. “We haven’t even done anything yet!” But there’s really only one thing that you must understand. That each and every one of us comes from a set of experiences so radically different from that of the person sitting across the circle from us. The rich man’s daughter has suffered hardships you can’t imagine, and the poor woman’s son has experienced joy and happiness that another can’t imagine. And vice versa, as always. Regardless of if you’re white, black, yellow, brown, or purple, each and every one of us have one very important thing in common: our species. We are all human.

A wise man once told us something along the lines of that the greatest human desire is to love and to be loved. Not to have more money, more experiences, or more nice things. Just to love and be loved, unconditionally. In all its complication, love is actually a pretty simple concept. The ability to look beyond a human’s skin, hair, accent, weight, hometown, religion, political beliefs, age, intelligence level, sex, sexual preference, or the thickness of their wallet, and see an individual human being who just like us, wants to love and be loved. Each person was born differently, raised differently, and has been influenced from day 1 by different values and beliefs. Each one of us has traveled down our own roads and journeys through life. Some have learned more than us, others less. But everything will balance out for each individual in the end. In my opinion, though, it is important to not think of this as cynical satisfaction that the envied will “get what’s coming for them,” but joy that at the end of all roads, we will all have the opportunity to find the beauty that lies within tranquility and balance.

I began these thoughts after speaking with the traveler. By wanting to initially react with judgment to his “ignorance,” but remembering the other side of things, and knowing that all paths are different. I understand that these are my own personal opinions and thoughts, and I hope that they will be respected. I hope whenever another human’s thoughts, feelings, opinions, or ways of life are considered for judgment, we can all remember our own hearts and souls, knowing that each person has those things as well, regardless of how good or evil we perceive them to be. Unconditional love, that’s the only thing that will save us from the mess humans have all created. And with that, my friends, I do love you all. Very, very much.

Holli Sullivan