This was the question in a board game with my kids that provided an opportunity for a life lesson – the life lesson.
In the game, called True Colors, a question is read and all players cast two anonymous votes into a black box. After all votes are in, the results are unveiled.
In this case of this particular question, the results revealed two votes for my son, two votes for my daughter, and two votes for me.
In a split second I realized: My son voted twice for my daughter. My daughter voted twice for my son. Of course.
Then with alarm, my son said, “Who voted for Mom?!”
I mean, yea, it seemed okay to a six and nine-year-old to sacrifice someone who seems like a threat or competition or as less worthy (like a sibling), but who could put their own mother at risk?!
It felt like slow motion when I saw the moment to teach my kids about love…
There was a pause.
“I’d rather risk my own life than either of yours.”
There was a moment.
Then value shone on their sweet faces. They got it. That’s what love is!
If you’re a parent, you know what I’m saying. It was physically impossible to entertain the thought of voting for anyone but myself. I’d give my left kidney, 10 gallons of blood, and all my money if it meant wellbeing for my kids.
There’s a story in the bible about two women who come before a king both claiming to be the mother of a baby. In the king’s wisdom, he says, “Let’s just cut the child in half!” One woman says, “Yes, that’s fair,” while the other says, “No! Give the baby to her!” The king then recognizes the real mother.
This is mature love. No regard for self-preservation, fairness, or rights…mature love honors another human being…beyond self…AS self.
If this love moved through us to all our neighbors, what would happen? In families? In schools? In business?
The greatest spiritual and influential leaders have pointed toward this, toward humanity as a whole, a body with different parts, sub-atomic particles with energy and life that flow through all things and all people. This life force holds all things together. From dust to dust. From cosmos to cosmos. We’re all connected, not separate.
Big concept, I know. I find myself frequently coming back here though.
It’s not an easy concept to grasp because most of the spiritual and influential leaders who pointed toward connectedness and proclaimed love were killed for what they taught. Think Ghandi, Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr…
You don’t have to just believe spiritual gurus though, this is also brain science: When we can’t see ourselves in others, people become objects instead of human.
When we love each other it becomes physically impossible to entertain even a thought of harm toward another. Not with a weapon, not with a word. We couldn’t focus on retaliation or punishment because of compassion.
With this type of love present, if you had to choose who would taste your food at the risk it contained poison, you’d end up choosing yourself.
That’s what love does.
Reflect: When have you been impacted by unconditional love? What beliefs do you have about people? How do those beliefs keep you separate or connected?
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