To the dictionary definition of love, “the intense affectionate concern for another person,” a second is added: “the benevolence, kindness, or brotherhood that man should rightfully feel toward others.” I would prefer to change “should feel” to “would wisely feel” toward others. I prefer to consider love and forgiveness as an act of free will rather than a “should” imposed on me by some authority. Forgiveness is defined: “to renounce anger or resentment, to excuse a fault or offense.”
Forgiveness is not a natural act; it is an intentional act of our own creation to invest our energy to help rather than harm. Nature has prescribed the universal survival of the physical fittest rule in each of us through life’s history. Tradition, which consists of the wisdoms that have been effective in the past, resists change, even when the new way is supported by common sense. The emotion linked to tradition commonly trumps our intelligent awareness of what is wise. Our will power will remain biased to the perspectives of instinct and tradition until we teach ourselves to add positive emotion to a newer way of thinking that respects common sense.
The overwhelming majority of our informed citizens have told us to expect the use of weapons of ultimate destruction unless we take urgent action. The question becomes apparent: Who can determine that the universal rules for survival have changed? Who can determine what is wise to change? The answer is just as obvious. Intelligence and knowledge have created the change and the most informed of us are now responsible for wisely managing our new knowledge.
What process of change can we expect? First there will be defectors from tradition. It will be tough going. Tradition resists change and makes it difficult for “deviants” like Christ, Martin Luther King, and Gandhi. It is a very mature skill to graciously invite contradictions to the assumptive views that we assign value, and it can have a powerful affect on the world. Is there any more powerful newer way of thinking than teaching forgiveness and love?
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