“Love of life advances quality of life”
Valentine’s Day is a day for expressing and sharing love we feel all year long. Like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, we can think of it as Love’s Day – a time of reflection and celebration of our love of life and all the joy and happiness it brings.
I have wonderful memories of my boyhood challenges and adventures of living in the ghettos of Southtown Chicago during the last two years of World War II. Although it was a gloomy time all around me, nothing could stop me from enjoying every day to its fullest — there was the outside world and then there was my own world.
After the war my family moved to the liberating fresh air of rural California. A year later, I volunteered to make our 7th-grade homeroom’s Valentine exchange box. I proudly delivered it containing cards from me addressed to our teacher and all of my classmates — all signed “with Love, Gene.” This seemed to be a perfect time to share my bubbling-over love of life.
By way of our freewill, we choose the purposes that determine the quality of our lives and relationships. As we chart our courses, we learn the differences between right and wrong and love and hate.
Love and hate are polar-opposite emotions. Love is pro-nature; hate is anti-nature. Love is healthy; hate erodes health. Love breeds love; hate breeds hate. Love celebrates life; hate destroys life. Love is the most life-promoting of all emotions. It is experienced as a positive, healthy emotion that is right and good in every way. Love resides at the bright end of life’s emotion continuum.
Our quality of life can be measured materially and spiritually, but material goods offer real value only as inner feelings of pleasures, joy, self-esteem, and other spiritual rewards of material success. We can score spiritual 10’s without having much material wealth.
The emotion called compassion is experienced only by individuals as results of firsthand value judgments. We are compassionate beings by our human nature; we naturally gain pleasure from helping good people in need. Wholesome human beings value the lives of others; they help not out of entitlement but out of their love of life. Our natural love and respect of life extends to all worthy beings. Who doesn’t feel love and joy watching puppies play or when watching a child’s first steps? Such events remind us that life is good and that wholesome living is possible and worthy of our efforts.
Positive emotions keep us alive and make us want to stay that way. They confirm our love of life and will to live. Inevitably and wonderfully, the shared love and joy of close relationships give life purpose and meaning. Inner feelings of joy, peace, prosperity, happiness, and fulfillment are Mother Nature’s emotional rewards of our advancements toward BestPossible.
When you celebrate life you are enjoying the sum of all of your successes. Love of life is an essential primal emotion — it is key to human survival and advancement. However, it atrophies with neglect — enjoy it or lose it. Energizing and enjoying your love of life calls for being your best-possible self, living best-possible days, and celebrating your successes along your journey through life.