Synopsis: Extreme questions, What the anti-love forces are, Definition, People in your life, A great big example and others, Anti-love’s two major forms, Three ‘right on’ books, and Your anti-love question.
Will you be caught, corrupted and controlled by the sinister and insidious evil forces of anti-love? Are you already in their clutches and don’t know it yet? Will those you love and care about fall under the domination of the proponents of anti-love ways? Will anti-love ruin your sex life, steal your friends and make your family cast you out? Are anti-love’s practitioners destroying your ability to love and be loved as we speak? Will anti-love destroy civilization as we know it and bring upon us a new dark age?
Sounds a bit extreme you say? Wondering if we’re practicing fear mongering and unnecessary scare tactics? Or maybe you think this is just a Halloween message, which it might be. Or could it be that there are important truths revealed in what might seem like overstatement?
What are the forces of anti-love? Well, of course, there’s hate and the many horrifying acts of terrible destruction that come from it. However, love has an even greater enemy than hate. It is the great enemy called “Indifference”, the true opposite of love. Time and again it is indifference that defeats love, and sabotages the growth and maintenance of love relationships. It is indifference to love itself, to existing love relationships, and to the people and creatures of this world which leads to destruction. This is because indifference leads to insufficient actions demonstrating healthy, real and especially compassionate love. From insufficient love actions, love malnourishment and love starvation grow, then the death of love relationships occurs.
Indifference, and its offshoot – taking people and things for granted, leads to not noticing what needs to be noticed and not attending to what needs to be attended to until it is too late. “Ignorance” of how important love is to our personal and collective health, well-being and survival is another anti-love force in our world. Greed, intolerance, power for power’s sake alone, fear-based living, worshiping the false gods of authoritarianism, status, control and a dozen other similar things, all can be considered anti-love forces working against our true well-being. If you think about it I’m sure you can add some others to the list.
Let us ponder the term “anti-love” just a bit. What might it really mean? Anti-love is understood to be anything that works against healthy, real love. Any behaviors, philosophy, teaching or ways of living that work to counter, inhibit, divert, supplant, negate, weaken or destroy healthy, real love is anti-love. Anything that works against the creation, development, growth and maintenance of healthy, real love is to be regarded as having anti-love elements. (See the “Definitions of Love” in the left column of this page for a more complete understanding)
If you have people in your life whose thoughts and actions demonstrate a low regard for love, the forces of anti-of love may be subtly and negatively affecting you. If you have people in your life who live more by hate than love, who are more fear-driven than love-driven, who make money, power, control and status more important than love, or people who just don’t spend much time and energy on love, then anti-love forces may be at work corroding your life. Of course, if you surround yourself with people of genuine love the opposite can be true. If you work at being truly love-centered (see entry, “Love Centering Yourself”) and grow your ability to love large and well, you can defeat the forces of anti-love in your own life and perhaps in the love lives of those you hold most dear.
Let’s look at just one, big, broad example of where anti-love forces often prevail in our world. This example can be called the ‘world of business’. Many people go about their business life in very unloving and anti-loving ways. That the ways of business and the ways of love can mix well comes as surprising news to quite a few. Even more surprising is the concept that mixing these two together can be good for both. Fair-minded partnership, ongoing mutual benefit, profit through ethics, egalitarian cooperation and shared truth’s collaboration are all concepts that fit well in the context of love mixed with business. Greed, deceitful practices, unfair dealings, destruction of competition, the ‘only winning’ matters attitude, avarice mindsets, and ‘cheating is okay if you don’t get caught’ are all anti-love and unfortunately far too common in today’s world of business.
If you think applying the common sense of love to the world of business is far-out or pie-in-the-sky thinking please consult Tim Sander’s hard line book for business leaders and managers, Love Is the Killer App.
Love in business is long-range oriented. Anti-love is short range oriented. ‘Loving others as you love yourself’ is a strategy for mutual and repeated benefit that works in both personal and business life. A business attitude involving “the killer instinct” and “dog eat dog” approaches only suggest that one day, perhaps soon, you will come to an end meeting a bigger dog with a stronger killer instinct. Including a love focus as part of your business strategy can lead to treating your workers and your customers fairly, looking after safety concerns sufficiently, and having a cooperation and harmony milieu in the workplace. All this has been proven to aid company survival and long-range profitability. Having a business strategy based in “only the bottom line counts” makes your workers seem like just easily replaced or interchanged cogs in your business machine.
Considering that workers and customers are real people, this approach loses their loyalty and may make them enemies out to destroy you. If your business strategy is oriented to the idea “do whatever it takes to make your bundle quickly, and get out before they catch you” you are definitely taking an anti-love approach and they will be out to catch you. A compassionate love for your fellow human beings philosophy in business is ethical. Every anti-ethical deceit and deception-filled approach is an anti-love approach. The research finding that college business and MBA students cheat on exams more than students majoring in any other subject tells much about how unethical and anti-love ways have come to infect the business community.
Anti-love forces in business practices really hit home when it’s your child who dies of a poisonous pollutant that a “business person” allowed into the environment because it was cheaper that way. It also hits home when it’s your spouse that is denied the cancer treatment that works best because your insurance company finds it too expensive and lies by mislabeling it “experimental” and, therefore, not covered. It’s an anti-love act when the broken parts of your car are replaced with cheap, foreign steel parts that won’t last but will endanger your safety when they fall apart.
Then there is the example of the clever banker who hacked into health records, then foreclosed and called in the loans of his sickest clients to capture quick money before hospital bills got it, or before they died and it was tied up in probate. Many are the forces of anti-love at work in the world of business. Of course, there are huge numbers of people who do their work honestly, and fairly and with sufficient and even abundant love for their fellow human beings. Many are the businessmen and businesswomen who pride themselves in running their businesses ethically, fair mindedly and compassionately, but are their numbers increasing or decreasing?
Lots of other areas of life besides the business world could be used in examples here. In sports good sportsmanship fits with a pro-love approach, however, these days it seems to receive less and less attention in the sports’ world. Replacing pro-love approaches is the anti-love saying “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” which, of course, justifies cheating, harming, and corruption of the games. Medicine in the USA used to be considered a “higher calling” and, therefore, an expression of deity-inspired love. Now increasingly it’s seen as just an ordinary business which often is controlled by greedy, unscrupulous, loveless health insurance companies.
In religion there are the love-based people working to help and heal wherever they can. Then there are the “right belief”-based people who compete with and even go to war with those of even slightly varying beliefs than their own. Take note that in all these examples, and in many more, the behavioral practices of anti-love in the workplace often are carried over into personal relationships with family and friends with ruinous consequences.
Anti-love can be said to come in two major forms, the ‘overt’ and the ‘covert’. Here is an example of overt anti-love. I once had something to do with a case in which a man murdered his daughter, her boyfriend and almost managed to kill his wife at the same time. It was argued that he did these things because he loved his wife and daughter but they would not submit to his authority as they should, so he had to take action. If he had not loved them, so the argument went, he would have been indifferent to them and let them live on in their sinful ways . Real love always makes us want and strive for the well-being of those we love (see “The Definition of Love” in the left column of this page). Murdering people you supposedly love is a totally clear example of overt anti-love.
Covert anti-love is insidious, often well disguised, and often quite sneaky. Here’s an example. After she was diagnosed HIV-positive she continued to have unprotected sex with the men she dated. She later explain she did this because using protection interrupted spontaneous romance, and if she insisted on protection the men might think she wasn’t innocent and not want to love her.
In his book, The Meaning of Love In Human Experience, Dr. Rubin Fine, a famous psychoanalyst, spells out with many examples how hate-based, anti-love oriented societies eventually ‘crash and burn’ while the more love-based cultures thrive far longer. Dr. Dean Ornish in his book, Love and Survival shows the scientific evidence pointing to couples, families and individuals pretty much doing the same thing – thriving with love or crashing and burning with anti-love ways of living. Then again for the business-minded there is that wonderful, little book by Chief Solutions Officer at Yahoo, and Fortune 500 executive’s consultant, Tim Sanders, who wrote Love Is the Killer App.
So, Dear Reader, are you going to let the forces of anti-love get you. Are you among the indifferent and the susceptible to being ambushed by anti-love? Have the sinister, anti-love forces been crafty enough already to convert you to their dark-side ways? Is love so unimportant in your life that you cannot possibly succeed at it? Or have you joined the pro-love people who science tells us tend to live long and prosper? Will you be more a person of good heart or a person more heartless? It’s up to you, is it not?
As always –Go and Grow in Love
Dr. J. Richard Cookerly
Do you tend to model yourself more on the people who seem full of being good-hearted or the heartless?