Once I read that famed philosopher and historian Will Durant challenged the idea that the profit motive was the master key to personal and economic progress. While I am a strong believer in the desirability and power of our freedom to enterprise, I agree with Durant. Love is the master motive.
The desire for profit might be a part of an inventor’s motivation to work long hours on a new invention but beyond that is his love for his wife and children. Beyond that is his love for a quality of life they can all enjoy together. Add to this grand love package a love for serving and filling human needs.
Love and creativity work in tandem like two mules hooked to the same plow. Creativity comes alive in an atmosphere where people are free to enterprise. George Washington Carver created over 500 products from the peanut and he had this to say about the power of creative love: “Anything will give up its secret if you love it enough.”
While this kind of love is the glue that holds the world together, there is another kind of love that threatens to burn all civilizations on the planet to the ground like a raging fire going across a dry sage field. It is a destructive, limited love for one’s kind only. It can happen between Christian people in a nation like Ireland where Catholics and Protestants swapped savage, deadly blows for decades. It can happen between two divisions of Islam as we now see with the Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq.
Any time we can replace narrow, sectarian, limited, destructive love with creative love that holds the whole of humankind in its embrace, we dramatically enhance the odds for planetary survival.
For the first time in my life I think we have reduced the chances of the survival of a planetary life worth living to no better than 50-50. The most likely outcome of the path we are blindly traveling will be a form of low-level existence. It might be better to pull the plug on the planet rather than mire it in a living death of hatred, revenge and madness.
Love of one’s kind only is definitely a form of love but it automatically fosters hatred for those who are different. In my own life history I can remember well when the majority of white people made life miserable for black people simply because they were different. We practiced our death-dealing skills on Native Americans before we unleashed them on blacks. If you think Sherman was rough on the south with his march to the sea, read what he did to the Indians. It chilled me so completely that I lost sleep for days.
A man once got angry with me when I said we should not just pray for God to bless America but should ask the same blessing for other nations and for the entire planet. Our objective must be the expansion of creative love among all nations and the lessening of destructive love for one’s kind only.
I have found a meaningful way to do this. I call it “a daily prayer for the children.” Unless one is totally demented, his heart will be touched by any child’s need. So I keep pictures of children from many nations and races in my personal journal. Pictures powerfully bring the beauty of children of all kinds to our awareness. Even if you are an atheist you can do this as a creative visualization exercise. Simply look at the children and visualize yourself with them, telling them a story, or feeding them a nutritious meal.
Creative love can always overcome destructive, narrow love. If we get all the children in our hearts, we will be much better individuals and the world will have a better chance of making it. Right now it needs all the help it can get.
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