We had no idea Las Vegas was about to happen.
We recently released our latest coffee t-shirt, and as you can see from the picture, it has nothing to do with coffee.
We wanted to go with something simple; a message we could all rally behind, and so we went with “Love People”.
We figured it was time to get back to the basics—that we all can lean in directions opposite of loving people from time to time, and so we thought a tangible reminder wouldn’t be so bad.
Because loving people is one of the more difficult tasks we have.
I have no problem loving the environment, for example. When I make overtures to protect it, I sense its appreciation; I feel that my little actions of recycling, or conserving water, or anything else I do is actually making a difference.
When I love a particular set of ideals, or a political system, I get the warm fuzzy feeling that the system loves me back; that my investment in those ideals will pay off because change is possible.
But loving people?
Sure—I love those closest to me: my dear friends, my family, my coworkers. But I admit that I have a more difficult time loving complete strangers, even those on the very street on which I live.
It’s normal, really. Because when I make an effort to love another human being, there’s no guarantee that person will reciprocate. It’s probably why Jesus said to love our enemies, because when we can perfect that - loving them with no strings attached - then there’s no way to go from there but up.
This means everyone. Think about how many social ills that could be avoided if we all just practiced a little of that, every day.
Vegas wouldn’t have happened.
Wars would be a thing of the past.
So would hatred, street violence, sex trafficking, or anything else that devalues our very humanity.
Because when we love people, they no longer become an “it”.
When we love people, they suddenly start to become a “thou”—a real person with a real soul and real emotions and real feelings.
And when we see the world around us as a collective group of thous, suddenly our perspective begins to change
Because every thou has a story. Every thou has dreams, ambitions, hopes, and fears.
Every thou is looking to live life to its fullest, in all of its flawed manifestations.
During the Vegas shooting, the man with the gun saw a crowd of its.
But the people in the crowd rushing to save each other, throwing their bodies over complete strangers in efforts to protect them, they saw a crowd of thous.
The first responders who helped get people to the hospital so their lives could be preserved saw the hurt and pain of hundreds of thous who needed medical attention, and so they acted.
The doctors and nurses in Las Vegas for pleasure and not work who rushed to the hospitals so they could help save lives saw a crowd of thous who desperately needed what the only they could offer, and so they acted.
They were loving people.
And though I pray a tragedy like Las Vegas never happens again, we could all stand to learn a little from it. For me, it’s time for us all to start focusing more on loving people than ever before.
It’s time to let our collective light shine in these dark times, for light has never once lost a battle with darkness.
It’s time, as Lenny Kravitz sang decades ago, to Let Love Rule.
Let’s discard the notion of a world full of its, and start noticing the thous all around us.
Let’s start Loving
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It’s all about being inter-connected.
When you take in that first sip of morning coffee, the steam still rising off the cup, allow yourself the luxury of savoring the moment: The comfort of holding a warm beverage in your hands, the flavors transitioning from intense burst of flavor into a smooth sweetness that lingers. Where do those fruity notes come from, you may find yourself wondering.