July 2, 2010: One man’s reflection on the nature of love, by Patrick Sieben

July 2, 2010 by

Love is just about most remarkable idea in all of nature. It is an expression of affection, commitment, reminiscence, ambition and a host of other concepts all felt within a person and often but not always shared. I would like to share some of my observations through the eyes of a husband, a father, a teacher and an artist:

The nature of love is kindness.

It is all too common to see unkindness around us. Look at the headlines and see the violence and hatred and terrible things people do to each other. Love stands against this. Love is treating all people as family. Love is not hurting others.

The nature of love is respect.

Look around and see how we treat what we have been given. See the vandalism and graffiti and litter. See the self-destructive behaviors. See the pollution of our air and water. Love encourages us to be respectful and thankful for what we have been given. Our environment, our intelligence, and our relationships are examples of gifts to cherished and respected.

The nature of love is generosity.
We have been blessed with much abundance of things and abilities. To love is to share this abundance. One can give of time, talent and wealth with sincerity in making others joyful. The opposite, greed, speaks to a darker side that is filled with selfishness. It is not selfish to cause another to gain.

The nature of love is dedication.

Whether it be God, country or family, love will expose a depth of commitment that withstands the worst trials and tribulations. We all can identify instances in our lives when we have felt disappointed or frustrated. It is the power of love that sees us through the tough times. When we dedicate ourselves through patriotism or marriage or belief in God, we invoke love to inspire a permanence of such dedication.

The nature of love is forgiveness.

Everyone has been wronged is some way by the actions or words of others. In a perfect world this would not happen, but since nobody is perfect, we experience hurt at the hands of often our closest friends. To forgive is the purest expression of love for another. True forgiveness however, must be unconditional and permanent.

The nature of love is honesty.

True love is just that — the Truth! Love is not deceptive or manipulative or evasive. A person shows love in being trustworthy and honest. Look at how much distrust there is all around us. We can find examples in government, in business, and sometimes even in our families. If we act as persons of honor, we show love in our actions and words.

The nature of love is peacefulness.

In love there is peace. This in not to say that peace is the absence of conflict, but rather that peace is achieved when we act with love toward each other in all aspects of life. If we are kind, respectful, generous, dedicated, forgiving and honest, all that we need to feed our soul will come to us. How we believe in God, how we express our patriotism, how we build our families… Those are all ways of demonstrating the undeniable knowledge that love can sustain a confident peace within our hearts.

That is the nature of love!

— Patrick Sieben is the Director of Bands at Cloud County Community College and a member of the Concordia Year of Peace Committee.


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