Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Principle 2: And Ye Shall Love Them Right Away
I've told people so many times, "I learned so much on the England Abroad." But I rarely venture into the specifics–I guess because it's almost painful to reduce such beautiful lessons to words.
Usually, if asked, "Well then, what did you learn?" I share the easiest lesson to describe: I learned to love everyone right away.
I learned that if you spend six weeks with anyone on an abroad in England, you will love them, so why not love them immediately?
You might object, "But if I spent six weeks with this person, I'd be even more eager to vandalize their garden gnomes." But really, the key to the England Abroad was that all of us were prayerfully supporting it the whole summer before we went and the whole time we were there. So, I'm saying, if you're in that type of environment with any individual, you'll come to love them.
When we got back to campus, we spent three and a half weeks rehearsing for our production of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. People who peeked in the Black Box and saw us rehearsing noted that we were like one light. I'd never been in such a cohesive group, a group in which every member poured forth affection and support and dearness.
At the end of the abroad, I thought, "Why didn't I just love them all immediately? It was going to come to love anyway, so it would have been best–most efficient, most accurate–to start out with that assumption." Love is the most obvious end result in every case, so it makes sense to start with it.
Principle 2: Try to love everyone right away, before they've done anything to acquire your love, before you know their favorite cereal, before you know their name.
"I don't care
Who you are (who you are)
Where you're from (where you're from)
What you did"