I was raised as a Catholic, by parents who at the same time were enlightened philosophers, in the sense of the philosophical enlightenment founded in the 18th century in the middle of Europe, with British, French and German philosophers at the helm of it.
I have since had the luck to be part of a university’s body as a student and graduate, with famous researchers in religion, philosophy, language and culture close at hand. I have read and thought, and discussed matters of religion, philosophy and culture for decades. To me it became clear in the course of many years that for all the sorrow, cruelty and hardship a human being may go through and endure, one thing remains adamant and is the core concept to me:
Much has been written about it, songs been sung, and operas, poems, books , plays been published. Although money seems to be the one driving force in human life – love, in all its shapes, is the other.
And when hardship falls on us, loved ones die or we just have to face humans that have decided to go the other way, love can carry us through.
I also think it important that we find the love inside of us:
because if we only search for it outside, only half of all our potential will be made true.
That’s why I find the concept of ‘neighbourly love’ crucial as well as helpful, as we know it from Christianity: ‘love thy neighbour as you love thyself’.
Psychology actually supports this concept:
only if we like and support ourselves, body, mind and soul the same way we would our near and dear, will we have the strength to do it – support both, ourselves as well as others. And we endure hardship easier.
I am not the first to say it and certainly will not be the last. In the bible one of the most beautiful texts about love is this:
Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians, chapter 13.