The world needs more lovemaking. And I don’t just mean sex.
to make (v): to bring into being, build, assemble, create, devise, organize, solve, edify
love (n): an intense feeling of deep affection
to love (v): to feel deep affection for, to care very much for, to like very much, to find pleasure in
So, how do you make love?
No, I’m not asking for a diagram, and yes, I know that question might bring back memories of awkward talks with parents, uncomfortable maturation programs, or a range of explicit visuals. But my question is much broader than the singular sex act. What I mean is, how do you create or bring into existence a feeling of deep affection and caring for others, even for so-called enemies? How do you create love?
The Italian phrase for giving birth, dare alla luce literally means “to give to the light”—a beautiful description of the moment another human life enters the world.
I wonder, though, as I filter through world events, if we may need to consider saying “to enter the darkness,” instead, since children enter a world where it is too easy to forget, as many religions and sages teach, that we all come from love and are meant to return to it. These are not the words of a pessimist or a person who does not want to bring children into this world. Quite the contrary, in fact.
However, as an observer of the history of human nature, it is a real query about the darkness of the human experience. Moment after moment, year after year, century after century, people given to the light of this existence turn so easily to snuffing out the life of another in every way. To making a science and an art out of creating misery for others by intimidation, vengeance, and war. To expending a countless amount of time, energy, and money to torture or kill another human being ever more exquisitely or efficiently. To believing that what begins with violence will only be solved with more violence. It never will. True peace will never be about weaponry, military force, domination, intimidation, or shrewdness.
So when given the option for feasting on goodness, I wonder, why do so many sup on vomit?
I sometimes feel like I’m in a place that’s gone completely mad, where refuse is more likely to be published than peace, and my heart cries for the collision in the world to stop. With eyes and ears full up, I am still left wanting.
The poet David Whyte aptly states in his poem “Loaves and Fishes”:
“People are hungry
and one good word is bread
for a thousand.”
The impact of kindness and compassion simply cannot be overstated.
Peer into the darkness, even when countless things seem to be crumbling, and shining slivers of light will illuminate that it is the structural integrity in the architecture of kindness, forgiveness, grace, and every other manifestation of love that is actually holding up the framework of the world.
The term used to describe the act of pleasure that millions throughout history have scrambled for, forced their way to, waited patiently for, abstained from, been brought to tears by, or reveled in as the pinnacle of human love, the act that has enabled the continuation of the human, and every other, species for millennia—to make love—seems like the best way to articulate what the world really needs more of.
We need to design, create, generate, build, construct, bring into being, and make more love.
So, without wanting to sound trite in any way (and asking for forgiveness ahead of time in borrowing the hippie creed), let’s do it: let’s make love, not war.
What I mean is, let’s actually fashion love out of what we have, instead of hate. Let’s spend our time, energy, and money erecting love and organizing it as a refuge. Let’s choose to desire the loaves and fishes over the copious amounts of detritus, and to feed others with them. Let’s recognize the strength, courage, and openness required to fully forgive when mildly or even terribly wronged, and to trust, love, support, and show compassion, even when it is legally moot. Let’s shed our pride and reach out a little more to others. Let’s acknowledge that those holding weapons of war are not always the picture—or, the only picture—of strength, bravery, or heroism in this world.
Let’s bring to light the hidden things. Let’s see beyond the external to the common yet sacred thread that binds us all together and that eventually subverts every attempt to hide it. Let’s consider the body—any body—and the inner workings of the soul as a beautiful privilege. Let’s do as Jalal-ad Din Rumi suggests and “sell [our] cleverness and buy bewilderment,” meaning that we let go of our cunning, calculated approach in exchange for a state of wonder, joy, and internal expansion.
Let’s give of ourselves generously without any other agenda, and (whether religious or not) do as Jesus and Buddha and so many others have taught to love our enemies and actually do good to those who hate us. Let’s more accurately see that that kind of action is the culmination, the climax, of true power and strength. Let’s do this and more.
Let’s bring into existence something so beautiful and significant and astonishing that we are forever tethered in our motivation to nurture its success. A line from the film The Village expresses the kind of impact this can make: “The world moves for love; it kneels before it in awe.”
So let’s bring the world to its knees.
Let’s reverence the wonder in what making love can produce time and time again, and let us give it to the light.
Author: Kiri Manookin
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: bartgent at Flickr