why and how to start loving others

The world is becoming a scary place, and people can have so much hate in their hearts towards others. I hold no judgment to this feeling, but consider this, fundamentally every single person and animal, simply wants to avoid pain and experience pleasure. With that basic understanding, even if we don’t agree with what others do, is it really that hard to empathise with them? That person that cut you off in traffic might be late to a meeting, an angry boss might’ve had a fight with their partner, a cold significant other might’ve had a terrible morning. We’re all trying our best to achieve happiness and avoid pleasure.

People discriminate based on religion, but most likely that belief is what is bringing them peace, happiness and strength. People discriminate based on race, but we’re all just struggling in this world. People discriminate based on age, gender and sexual preference, but again we’re all just trying to be happy. Let’s not let these artificial dividers break us apart, instead in these increasingly challenging times, let’s put aside our differences and rejoice at strong sense of community, society has.

Connect with people, get to really know them, ask them questions and be curious. You don’t have to agree with their opinions, but try to see where they are coming from and soon we’ll all realise that we are all essentially the same, with just different upbringings. While people should be held accountable for their actions, everyone is quite similiar. The sooner we see, and accept this, the sooner we can truly work together and begin to solve all the injustices within the world.

Be open, vulnerable and honest with others. The vast majority of the time, people will reciprocate and behind the facades people put on, we’ll soon think “hey they’re quite similiar to me’ or ‘I’d have done the same thing if I were them.’ Let’s be authentic and genuine with people, speak to people about our truth and always curiously listen to what they say, wondering ‘could this be true?’ Just as you’ve had your whole life so far, they’ve also had a long life thus far, and the lessons they’ve learnt might be different to yours, but it doesn’t make it any less real for them. So hold the judgment and just listen.

Lastly, practice forgiving people, carrying around resentment hurts you too, and if you’re already hurt why make it worse? Also, practice both internally and externally showing gratitude for the friends and family you have. No one has a perfect social circle, and there’s always flaws that annoy people, but that doesn’t take away from the good characteristics. Maybe your friend lies sometimes to protect their ego, but you know that they’ll always make sure that you’re okay. Or maybe your friend is flaky and inconsistent but they’re always there if you need someone to talk to. Appreciate people’s good behaviours too and express this genuinely to them, it’ll make them feel good and you as well. Win-win.

Share the love, good luck and catch you next time.

Anandu Pradeep.

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