It’s 2am. Looking out at the skyscape of Toronto from the top floor of a high rise. Lights fill the sky even at this late or early hour. There’s a healthy bustle of cars and pedestrians navigating the streets below. Looking at the mass of lights, the emanating energy, the towering monuments to human ingenuity it is difficult not to feel impressed, even untouchable. In this isolate glass box at the top of the world it is easy to imagine the scene below is one of peaceful utopia, with everyone living out the American, or in this case Canadian, dream. But as soon as you put feet on the ground, rub shoulders with the passers by, it becomes impossible to miss the angst, the anxiety, and the fear lacing every conversation and every hurried step. Fear that we won’t accomplish enough to earn a sense of value; Fear that we, the real we, will be rejected by those who mean the most to us. Fear that just around the next bend of life our health, our job, our finances, or our relationships will crumble. “Insurance” is a farce in that only a minute amount of what we value can be replaced through monetary exchange. True insurance, or rather assurance, can be found only in love.
Love says we are in this together, dependent on one another. Love says I give of myself for you, choosing you above all else. Love says I acknowledge you, your flaws and fears, and welcome them. Love invites full revelation and exploration. Love, true love says I believe in who you are and who you will become; I accept who you are and who you will become. Love says I am willing to be hurt with you and to be hurt by you. I am willing to struggle with you, I am willing to fight with you and fight for you. Love says laughs, celebrates, and enjoys. Love says I don’t want anything else if I can’t have you first.
Rightly, money, fame, and success may provide opportunities to show affection and love to others but can never be permitted to become the object of love themselves. Everyday life is dominated by demagogues, catering to the accepted, the popular, the tide of public opinion for the purpose of gaining money, fame, and success. Love rejects this notion, choosing a person to stick with, to stick by, to celebrate with, and to support. Love is both a means to an end and the end in and of itself.