Thursday, July 8, 2010

Peace and Love

The oldest Beatle, Ringo Starr, turned 70 years old yesterday. His requested birthday gift was for everyone to say "peace and love" at noon. Fortunately, the friend I was eating lunch with reminded me of this (however we said "peace and love" at 1 p.m.-- I don't think Ringo would mind). The AP photo above shows Ringo at Times Square's Hard Rock Cafe.

The message of "peace and love" is so very simple, yet profound. These two words describe the ideal relationship with self, others and God. Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of reconciliation. When we have peace in the relational sense we co-exist with others in a relationship of respect.

Love is the ultimate word to describe our deepest relationship need. We need to give love and to receive it. Without love, life atrophies and is diminished. Love is the life-blood of all relationships. By "love" I don't mean "feelings of affection" but a deep commitment to the good of the other. When we love someone, we act in their best interests even if we have to repress self-interest.

While I don't believe saying the words "peace and love" will change the world, I do believe that being committed to infusing our relationships with these realities will change us. I'm glad that Ringo once again called our attention to their importance.

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