Synopsis: How to understand, activate, use, develop and greatly benefit from our probably inborn drive for doing wellbeing oriented love is well presented here. Everything from comforting a crying baby to striving for world peace is included by this type of love for others. It is evidenced as evolving not only in our own species but perhaps in others too as we move to the hope of the future. Treat yourself to the joys of this positive psychology filled, love force.
Around the world, there are millions of people who see suffering and feel a powerful, internal drive to ameliorate that suffering. Millions of others observe a social problem and aspire to do something about it. Still others perceive injustice, inequality, victimization, bigotry, persecution, prejudice, neglect, abuse or maltreatment. Then they empathetically respond and wish to save their fellow humans from those tortures. Furthermore, there are those who look upon the ordinary, the normal and the average and are sure “We can do better”. There are also millions who compassionately strive to find or apply healing to the world’s ills and woes of every type.
All these people can be said to be naturally impelled to action out of a drive for Wellbeing oriented Love. Whether it is comforting a crying baby, working to treat the sick and wounded, rescuing the savaged or bringing peace to the war weary, these efforts are beautiful manifestations of healthy, real love. Love promoted well-being sometimes is labeled as healing love, altruistic love, humanistic love, godly love or even do-gooder love. Whether love is focused on a single, loved person in distress or on a cosmic concern its power can be amazing. Whatever its incarnation, this type of love exists to fix what is broken or damaged and make things better.
Love does not always appear to be gentle loving. While the major emotions of love are those of empathy and compassion, it also can involve an intense and adamant sense of dedication. That dedication pushes us to strive against the negatives and go all-out for the positives of life. In this adamancy there can be anger, rage and even a hate for whatever is causing the problem in need of healing or fixing. Nurses and doctors might be heard to voice a hatred of cancer. Anti-poverty workers have been known to voice animosity for the greed mongers of the world. Some climatologists cathartically may rant and rave against polluters. Ecologists and animal protectionists have been known to exhibit extreme antagonism toward the cruel and the indifferent. Many progressive political activists seethe with fury concerning regressive politics and avarice addicted, power-for-power’s-sake politicos. Nevertheless, the underlying motivation of these people who work on behalf of beneficial causes can be identified as love for health, repair, recovery, improvement and growth.
Those Who Help
There are people who just seem to be natural born helpers, healers and fixers. Their caring love urges them to gravitate toward people in need, to intervene in dire situations and even to choose careers that require serious, assistive skills. Wherever there are ailments, afflictions, maladies or maltreatment of any sort, many people feel an impulse to do something to make things better. We think these benevolent drives come from what we identify as wellbeing oriented love. We can find these exceptional people in the helping and healing professions; they are likely to become nurses, physicians, social workers, therapists, NGO aid workers and so forth. Others go into work at charitable agencies, service organizations, rescue work, educational guidance or any vocation or avocation where the reparative part of wellbeing love is a major, ongoing motivation.
There are other people who live to advance wellbeing. They tend to go into fields like education, science, progressive politics, human service businesses and the like. These movers and shakers can be instrumental in propelling human progress and advancing civilization.
Helpers, when asked why they do what they do, often reply, “I just had to try to make a difference” or “It was just in me to do it”. Some will say things like “I saw someone I love suffer and my purpose in life became to fight against that evil”.
There is another group who go into research to find cures for threats to those they love or to develop instruments that aid humanity. One subgroup of people who help are political activists who go into politics to work for human betterment and fight politicos who are only there for their own gain or a regressive agenda. Many other helpers spend their time and energy volunteering for worthy causes which right a wrong, provide for an insufficiency or tackle a problem. Wellbeing oriented love exists in all of these.
Many who do not seem to have an abundance of love within them, find it hard to understand why some people spend so much of their lives doing so much for the less fortunate, the downtrodden, the less able, the disadvantaged, the defeated and the victims of life’s tragedies. In fact, many of those who help don’t fully understand it themselves. Some will testify that it is their religion or that their God called them to service. Others will trace it back to a time in which they were in despair or crisis and a helper came to their rescue; so, they want to provide a similar service to others. For some, it is because they were not rescued and do not want others to suffer like they did. In addition to those good reasons, we posit that a deep down reason is a strong, internal love drive. Wellbeing oriented love, for whatever reason, powerfully surges in the spirits of many and they continuously strive to actualize it.
Alert! Beware of fake helpers! There are people who look like they are doing good but they have a hidden, self-serving agenda. Research has revealed most people feel good from doing good but sociopathic-leaning people usually only feel good from selfish benefit. It seems they don’t feel good when they do good.
A reinforcing reason for doing wellbeing-oriented love is that our brain is built to reinforce us with good feelings once we start to actualize love’s impetus. Research backs this up and shows that there are significant other benefits to enacting love oriented for wellbeing, besides just feeling good. A number of studies have confirmed that acting from altruistic motivation is a considerable benefit to the giver of those actions as well as to the receiver. The wellbeing and happiness of both tend to improve regardless of the difficulty being faced. Frequently, so does their social and relationship life, along with their longevity. A deep, private sense of confident self-worth can result along with a solid owning of the knowledge that one has made a worthy contribution.
One More Thing: might you enjoy talking the ideas of Well-Being Love over with someone? If you do please mention our website and its many brief lessons on not just feeling love but doing love well. Thank you
As always – Grow and Go with Love
Dr. J. Richard Cookerly
Quotable Question: are you a happy, hopeful, proud do-gooder riding on the wellbeing love bandwagon, or what?