Written by: Robert D Brinsmead
Here is my very imperfect definition of agape love: A respect and reverence for life – your own life and the life of others. A compassionate concern for the well-being of others just as you care for your own well-being.
Although we all live individual lives (plural), we all share in life, which is singular. Each of us in the human family share the one indivisible life that flows to us from a Divine source. Not to love another human life is not to love our own life. This amounts to a rejection of reality and a form of madness. Whatever we do unto others we do it unto ourselves. If we condemn others we condemn ourselves. When we forgive others we forgive ourselves. The life of all others is inseparably connected to our life. This can even be demonstrated by quantum physics.
We may liken the human family to the human body which has trillions of cells. What effects one part of the body effects every part of the body. No one can achieve optimum health without at the same time caring for the welfare of every part of the body. It is not reasonable for one member of the body to say to another member of the body, “I have no need of you.” (St. Paul) For instance, the Muslims are just as much a part of the body of humanity as the rest of us are. What ails them affects us.
The world economy is an illustration of this reality. It has been said that if America sneezes (economically speaking,) the rest of us who are non-Americans get a cold. As Great Britain faces the trauma of leaving the European Union, the worldwide stock market takes a hit. We are all inseparably linked. Why are we so slow to accept the reality that by improving the well-being of others we improve our own well-being, or conversely, the intent to harm others results in self-harm. Love is not some airy fairy ideal. It makes good sense. It is life – the life of God.