I really think The Beatles have something there.
Really. Despite all the craziness in the world, what is one of the most common threads of conversation? Love. When someone’s personal world seems to be crumbling, when there isn’t enough money, when rain has come in through the window, when the car won’t start, what is still one of the things at the forefront of the mind? Love. Everyone, it seems, has an aching to find love or discuss the pain that love can cause, regardless of what other horrors might be penetrating life.
But, is it true that love is all you need? I suppose love can’t put food on the table or coffers in the bank. But its presence seems to ease hunger pains and create hope or at least calm.
I once read a biography on Audrey Hepburn. During the last years of her life she was the Ambassador for UNICEF (United Nations International Emergency Fund). I read that one day, she and her crew were in a situation in which they were handing out food to starving orphans. There was one little girl standing in line, waiting her turn. She kept looking back and forth between the food and Audrey Hepburn, torn it seemed. Then, suddenly, she left the line and ran to Audrey Hepburn for an embrace. She chose a loving hug over immediate food. The love pouring from Miss Hepburn overcame hunger pains that were literally starvation.
Love is the best combatant for hate. Often, the world thinks hate can be battled with more hate, more anger. This is simply not true. Shakespeare made that obvious in Romeo and Juliet. Quoting Romeo, “Here’s to do with hate, but more to do with love.” Romeo, the poet. If only he’d followed his own advice. Even he fell into the cycle of hate and revenge, slaying Tybalt.
Sometimes it is incredibly difficult to fend off anger. But, I have found that if I am angry at someone or something specific, if I just fill myself with the love I feel for someone else, my anger dissipates. And if I commit an act of love… well, quite frankly, anger and hate can’t handle it and cower in the corner like dust mites just waiting to be swept out into the suffocating snow where they belong.
And it’s important to remember this tool of love. Hate and anger and vengeance are like black holes. They swallow everything in their path. You think you are being strong by carrying around anger. But, it will destroy you if you don’t control it, banish it, like you would a traitor. Because that is what hate does: it destroys you from the inside before you even know what is happening.
Love cannot literally give you money or food or other necessities of life. But it can be the power behind the action to get those things. It can be the healing salve when you honestly don’t have enough.
Truly, all you need is love.