This is what I heard as I was reading Peter Shankman's blog post. For those of you who don't know, Peter is the founder of HARO, a free service linking journalists to expert sources.
Mum: Why would someone want my porridge recipe in Denver? Who made October Oatmeal Month? Where do you find these people?
Back to Peter: He is a fellow animal lover and just all-around nice guy. So it's comical when someone accuses him of not being nice. This someone who made a point of saying he had two psychology degrees. Ah-ha! That explains it! Kidding. So, back to the love part:
Thinking you're better than excludes whole groups of people. Usually it's thinking you're smarter, like Psych Guy, but this is also the pattern in religious groups. Being superior shrinks your world and isolates you from others. It's the opposite of love; love is inclusion, no matter your intellect or religion or football team. Love is out of your head, with open arms, embracing all the experiences where love shows up; playing puppies and giggling babies and smiling people on a park bench. Love, in all its forms, is open. It's hello with a smile. It's abandoning judgments about shoulding on other people:
- They should worship God like I do.
- They should go to such-n-such a college.
- They should be a such-n-such living in a such-n-such kind of neighborhood.
Feeling better than keeps you in your head and closes off your heart. There are people who will quote Mr. Potter and say this is "sentimental hogwash." It's the reason we're on the planet. Love is about connection. You can't simultaneously judge someone and connect with them. Judgment repels, disconnects, and isolates. Love embraces, welcomes and includes.
Thinking you're better than is a step away from justifying being mean, abusive and hurtful. It's what starts wars in families, communities, and the world. Better than because of race, religion, education, sexual orientation, nationality. Those are the big ones that keep us disconnected.
On this Valentine's Day, think of who you love, and who loves you. Get out of your head and into your heart. It's why we're here. To quote Sir Paul McCartney (who?): LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED. And Psych Guy doesn't know it, but he needs it, too. It would make him less offended and more patient of other people's perceived shortcomings.
P.S. This was my Grasshopper quote from Quotes That Get You Curious, this morning:
"When you encounter something or someone in life that doesn't fit into one of your neat categories, it's an opportunity to find our more about them, but more importantly, about yourself."