Even as my dad’s behavior was hurtful at times, he was easy to love–he could made me laugh in the middle of an argument with a sarcastic and hilarious aside–but I can think of a few people in my life that suffocate and starve my warm fuzzies. For them, I remember the first of “The Paradoxical Commandments,” written by Kent M. Keith: “People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.”
He elaborates on all of the commandments in his book, “Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments“:
“Lucy, in the ‘Peanuts’ cartoon strip by Charles Schulz, once said: ‘I love mankind. It’s people I can’t stand.’
“People can certainly be difficult. Some are hard to love. Some are so illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered that we can’t stand them. But we should love them anyway.
“Love is the greatest gift that we can give and receive. It is a gift that all of us need to give and receive. A life without love is a life not fully lived. Don’t limit your life by limiting your love.
“The psychologist Abraham Maslow once observed that love is as essential to the growth of a human being as vitamins, minerals, and protein. I believe that human beings are built to run on love. We are designed that way. If we are not giving and receiving love, we are not operating on all our cylinders. We are not who we are supposed to be. We are not all that we can be. We are not doing all that we can do.
“It is a tragedy when people decide not to love others because they don’t approve of them, or they see them as illogical or unreasonable or self-centered, and not worthy of their love. It is a tragedy because love is not about approval or worthiness. It can’t be…. If approval and worthiness were really a prerequisite for love, there would be very little love in the world.”