Conversation Corner
Family Corner (Loving Our Enemies --May 2003)

Love is a decision, not just a feeling. Discuss the difference between loving and liking someone.


Date: 6/18/2003 4:46:08 AM
Name or Pseudonym: Pat

Dear HC

Hokay, once again. I totally AGREE that we all HAVE CONTROL OVER OUR ATTITUDE. I have stated this several times! You have in fact stated much of what I have said - I don’t know why you think we’re disagreeing!!!!!

I also agree that we CAN choose not to hate. Negative feelings can be overcome. I just do not agree that we can choose to "feel" love (and NOT just in the romantic sense of love).

I think you are right: we are talking past each other (or at least I am - I seem to be the only person not agreeing!)

One last point.

"I assure you that people can, and unfortunately do sometimes, choose NOT to love. These people are sometimes very angry at the world and choose to bathe in that anger; they refuse to even try to be happier. They donít take criticism well, and they spend much time criticizing and complaining about what is not right. (And we all know that there is much that is not right, and much to complain about.) Any encouragement is discarded with a "bah-humbug", cheerfulness is viewed as blind ignorance, and introspection and peace are foreign concepts to these folks."

It’s very easy for us to judge other people who do not share our attitude or nature. Are we not, perhaps, judging them by our own standards, and coming up with the wrong conclusion? I know exactly what you mean by this type of person. They are very frustrating to be with (not to mention depressing). I know an old lady who had a stroke about 5 years ago. Believe me when I tell you that she has drained the dregs of my essence! She is perpetually looking on the black side, unable to see the bright side, afraid to live, terrified to die. Whatever suggestion I make to cheer her up is pooh poohed. I dread phoning/visiting her.

By your logic, she is "choosing" to feel this way. I simply can’t believe that. I simply cannot accept that a human being would "choose" to be unhappy, ie make a CONSCIOUS decision. Oh, I can easily see a human being making a conscious decision to make SOMEONE ELSE unhappy, but it beggars belief that we would deliberately choose unhappiness for ourselves. Always barring mental illness, of course.

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