The purpose of the adult of the species, any species, is to ensure the success of the next generation. From bees to bears, from hyenas to humans, every adult’s job is to provide for the young. Someone did it for us. Now it is our turn to give back, ideally giving more than we were given. We assure the success of future generations by teaching our children to love.
We may think our jobs and our careers are solely about us and that children have nothing to do with our work. If careers are based only on our individual desires or needs, at some point we will feel that something is lacking. We see ourselves as teachers, lawyers, warehouse workers, doctors, sales managers, company associates, etc., but our real job is to assure the success of the next generation.
Wherever we are, whoever we are, our job is to help others see things through eyes of love.
When we lose that connection to love, that is the moment that things start to go downhill, sometimes quickly, and other times so slowly that we don’t realize anything has changed until it is too late to avoid the consequences of broken relationships, feelings of isolation, anger and hateful behavior.
It is in our families that we learn to love and to express that love. Our families are also where we can learn to be fearful of the world and learn to express fear in its many damaging ways.
Dr. Phil McGraw in his book, Family First, writes about helping families out of extreme conflict and unloving behavior. Dr. Phil tells these families, “You’re not bad people. You’ve just lost your way.”
How quickly we lose our way when we choose not to use the energy of love.
We show our love through our actions, through our work and through our words. As Shakespeare said it in the play Two Gentlemen from Verona, “They do not know love that do not show their love.” To teach our children to love, we must show our love. We must learn how to express our love in all its billions of variations. To have love, teach love.
Creating a loving response to the many unloving actions we encounter is a challenge.
Paul in his letter to the Corinthians wrote:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
Love never fails.
For that reason, it is our most important thing to teach, perhaps the only thing we should teach.