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All we need is love

It’s Valentine’s Day, a day when all the world will be thinking of love. At least all the world should be. Too often the world finds itself leaving love to the lovers. We challenge that stipulation. Indeed, love is for everyone! The concept is so simple it is often overlooked. We have written of love at least a half dozen times in the past year and in none of them did we say or even suggest that love is restricted to the romantics. And still the idea that love can be and should be had by anybody and everybody is lost on so many.

 

Maybe we made our message too complicated. In one of our most popular posts, Three Little Words, we tried to redefine the classic seven kinds of love. Maybe we need to simplify the message, like the Beatles did with their 1965 classic, All You Need is Love. The story behind the song is itself a sort of love story.

 

On Sunday, June 25, 1967, the world was treated to a first of its kind. The first multinational live television broadcast, “Our World,” was transmitted by satellite to 24 countries on every continent save Antarctica. The original intent of “Our World" was to showcase the ability for the world to be connected and communication around the globe to be nearly simultaneous. Its legacy is that it demonstrated “mankind could transcend its political divisions and … harness our efforts to the greater good.”(1) The closing act of that effort was the Beatles performing All You Need is Love, written specifically for the broadcast and with intentionally simplistic lyrics that could be easily understood by everyone.

 

We feel they satisfactorily met their objective. Brian Epstein, the Beatles manager, said of the song, “The nice thing about it is that it cannot be misinterpreted. It is a clear message saying that love is everything.” How wonderful it is that there is a message so non-controversial that it can be interpreted in only one way, for how could you possibly misconstrue those words? All you need is love.  

 

But then, we can and do misinterpret almost daily another simplistically worded and perhaps even more basic message, “Love your neighbor.” Maybe the messages are too simplistic. Too many people could be asking themselves, “How can anything so easy be so right?” and answering themselves, “Because it can’t.” But they are so wrong. It can be that easy!

 

The messages are so simplistic and the task is so easy by design so that everybody can be part of the process. It takes no special skill, no particular expertise, no real talent. Love is a part of us. It is within us. We are born to love. In that post, Three Little Words, we wrote “We relish, in fact we need to be with and interact with other humans. Our connections with each other are often born of need but grow because we want to explore and deepen those connections… All of those connections are some form of love. …Valentine’s Day indeed is for lovers. But love is for so many more!”

 

Somewhere among the seven loves, you can surely find that all you need to love your neighbor.

 __________

1. 50 Years On, Remembering The 'Our World' Broadcast And What It Means Today, Julie Wittes Slack, “WBUR Cognoscenti,” June 26, 2017, retrieved from wbur.org, February 2024.    



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