No. 595



Several years ago, Hal David wrote a song titled, "What the world needs now is love." A portion of the lyrics say, "Lord, we don't need another mountain, there are mountains and hillsides enough to climb. There are rivers and oceans enough to cross, enough to last till the end of time. What the world needs now is love, sweet love."

One has only to look out across the world and view the human condition to know these words are not only true, but profound. While hope springs eternal in the human breast, I cannot remember a time during my 60-plus years when love was more needed as a guiding principle to help us live in harmony with each other, both here at home and abroad.

A few days ago I got a letter from a reader in Missouri who said something that really touched me. He said, "I read your column weekly and look forward to the varied topics you present. The educational, political, motivational and moral issues are blended in a very non-threatening way but 'you need to know this' manner." This has always been my heart's desire, and my prayer is that this may always be true. The subject of love is my topic for today, and hopefully I can share a few thoughts that will be helpful.

You know, love is the strongest of all human emotions, and it's ironic that it is one of those things that we don't have until we first give it away. We see people every day who obviously have a deep love for their spouse, their children, their parents, siblings and other family members. We can easily extend this list to include their church, jobs or careers, community, school or college, hobbies, sports teams and many other things. To love is to be loved. As I said, love is an emotion, and when expressed in a healthy and open way usually comes back to us with compound interest. Because God created us as unique human beings, we all need love, at least to some degree.

We see people every day in our society who are not loved and, as a result, often become resentful and bitter and even take their own life. If this most basic human need is never met or satisfied, serious problems will likely come about as a result. Our nation's jails and prisons are filled with people who were never loved. Those in our society who are involved in illegal drugs, gangs, prostitution and other undesirable activities are suffering from the lack of love by those who were important to them, at a critical time in their life.

As a healthy, happy and responsible human being, here are two questions that I hope you will ponder: "Is there someone in my life - family member, friend or co-worker - who really needs a friend and someone to love them? Can I make a difference in the life of this person, and in so doing receive eternal rewards, and also have that love returned to me?" As I'm sure you know, there are many different kinds of love, but the kind of love I am talking about can be seen in these words penned by the Apostle Paul more than 2,000 years ago.

"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have all faith, so that I can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. Love is patient; love is kind. Love does not envy; is not boastful; is not conceited; is not selfish; is not provoked; does not keep a record of wrongs; finds no joy in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

These words are still just as true and fresh today as they were the day he wrote them. They are a portion of what is called the "Love" chapter of the Bible. After talking about faith, hope and love, the Apostle Paul ends the chapter by saying, "Now, these three remain, faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love."

We should all strive to love a little more and hate a little less and make this world a better place to live. ---

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, Ark. 72034. To support literacy, buy his book, "Learning, Earning & Giving Back.")