Two students, Bill and Mike, moved to new towns with their parents. Bill disliked his new community from the first day. He felt the new school was inferior to the one he had attended in his former hometown. His new classmates seemed boring and unfriendly. “I wish we hadn’t moved here,” Bill told his parents. “This is a cold, dull place, and I’ll never fit in.”
Mike was far more fortunate. He discovered his new school was not only excellent academically but provided many interesting activities and challenges. “I can’t believe how many new friends I made today,” he stated to his family at the dinner table after his first day at Miller High. “I feel as though some of the students have been my friends forever.” Before you pity Bill for not moving to a town as warm and friendly as the one Mike moved to, you should know that they moved to the same town, the same neighborhood, and they attend the same school!
Why did two young people respond to a similar situation so differently? Bill tends to expect the worst in life, whereas Mike is outgoing and friendly. Mike went to the new school with a smile on his face and an open and positive outlook. Mike is a loving person who lives in a loving world.
The loving person creates a positive atmosphere. Jill, for example, was a loving person. She was the friend you could count on—always ready to listen, to help, and to comfort. When Jill’s mother died of cancer while Jill was still in high school, she was surrounded by love, not only from her family but also from her many friends. Jill’s giving of herself was being returned tenfold. Even in great sorrow, she lived in a loving world.
The loving person can feel hurt, can experience anger, can be put out at someone for some reason. These are human emotions. Life, after all, offers its share of disappointments, troubles, worries, and sorrows for each of us. We cannot expect continuously happy days. But the loving person refuses to allow negative emotions to become dominant. The loving person can forgive another who may have hurt him. The loving person goes for a long walk or becomes involved in an activity that takes his mind off the feelings of anger or frustration that may be threatening his peace of mind. The loving person clears the air by talking with the person with whom he may be angry, and then perhaps offers a hug or a handshake in reconciliation. Regardless of the degrees of stress or confusion he or she must undergo, that person’s world continues to be a loving world.
Try a smile instead of a scowl. Expect the best and not the worst. Do your utmost to be understanding and to care for the people in your life. The “Bills” of this world often find things to complain about throughout their lives. The “Mikes,” on the other hand, not only look for the best but help to create that best through their own attitudes and integrity. The loving person, from youth to old age, lives in a loving world and leads a full and happy life, finding the strength to face problems and tragedies because of the loving world they inhabit.
Dr. Glenn Mosley wrote the following in an article entitled “Love and Friendship”: “Love is more than sentiment; it is a need, a hunger, and a thirst that is perfectly natural. No one can live happily without giving and receiving love. It is the fulfilling of the law, and the fulfilling of life. We must understand Jesus’ teachings on love. . . . ‘God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.’ In other words, to the extent that we let this divine activity hold sway in us we become a portion of the divine heart of God.”
It may sometimes seem difficult to be open to others who may seem cranky, ill-tempered, selfish, and hostile. Yet, a loving person realizes that understanding another’s problems and frustrations can help open the way to compassion. A loving person, living in a loving world, knows that the miracle of love can find a way to pass the “impassable” human relations obstacle.