Love One Another.
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Love One Another.

"Love one another, and you will be happy. It's as simple and difficult as that."

Love One Another.

Love one another. It's the simplest phrase yet the hardest act to accomplish universally. This phrase, or a variation of it, has transcended since the beginning of time throughout all religions, peaceful non-religions, and walks of life.

In the Bible, John 13:34 says, "As I have loved you, love one another."

In the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad says, "You will not enter paradise until you have faith and you will not have faith until you love one another."

In the Torah, Leviticus 19:18 says, "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbors as yourself."

But what does it truly mean to love one another? In a world full of growing intolerance and divide, there is a strong need for the answer. To me, there are three main principles needed to be upheld. The first is acceptance. Not one person on this planet, even identical twins with the same DNA, is alike in every way. We all have unique characteristics physically, mentally, and spiritually.

While we are all born with prejudice, whether we want to admit it or not, we must rise above it and judge each other based on character and the quality of interactions with others instead of physical appearance, wealth, or upbringing. You may not agree with a person's political views, gender identity, or even sexual orientation, but you must accept that they are as worthy of love and respect as anyone else. And always remember, "If you don't have anything nice to say..." (You can finish the rest).

But how can you love someone who is inherently evil, bigoted, etc.? That's where my next, and probably the hardest, principle comes in: forgiveness. The Bible says to forgive others even if they do not ask for it or deserve it. Let me emphasize that: EVEN if they do not ASK for it or DESERVE it.

The most difficult thing of all, but the most self-rewarding, is to forgive someone who has wronged us. Does this mean we must accept or condone unethical or vile behavior? Absolutely not. Never. Ever. But, allowing some forgiveness in will allow you to free yourself of the heavy burden that comes with hate... something that a person who is evil or who has wronged you is incapable of.

The last principle needed to "love one another" is kindness. Kindness is ambiguous. It takes many forms. Kindness can be expressed in a simple acts such as holding a door for a stranger or paying a compliment to another. Kindness can be expressed in greater acts such as paying for a stranger's meal, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or offering to baby sit for a young mom in need of a break.

Lastly, kindness can be expressed in selfless acts such as sticking up for someone who is being wronged or fighting to rectify an injustice. To be kind, as generic as it sounds, is to treat others in a way that you would like to be treated no matter what the situation is or how much easier it would be to not do so. After all, there is a reason why Ellen DeGeneres tell us to "be kind to one another".

It is often much easier to let hate into your heart especially when you have been wronged. If society as a whole, religious or not, learned and encouraged love rather than hate and divide, there would be far less injustice in the world.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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