Dear Janis, Yes, the sentiment is there. But I’d like to take that a little further. “Love thy neighbour as thy neighbour likes to be loved. Love thy neighbour for themselves.”
Otherwise it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of assumed similarity, and we miss out in Celebrating and appreciating Difference. Glorious Difference.
If I go somewhat deeper, especially since you asked and included, Always…
I have to say, no, it is not actually always the right thing to do. Sometimes it’s the very worst. Sometimes we need *Appropriate Intolerance.* It seems like it can’t be, but consider what happens when we love a narcissist like we love ourselves. That love, in ourselves, is based on a honest perspective, on the reality of our goodness, regardless of how sensible, capable or competent we may be in Applying our Goodness. Bottom line, our love for ourselves is based on integrity, honesty, and goodness.
But, this is not so for the narcissist. their self-love is based entirely on fabrication, on a self-deceit and a complete lack of any integrity, Loving them only serves to confirm and entrench these distorted self-beliefs. Self-beliefs they know to be false, but which they push, hoping others will “buy” them. It is precisely this our love for them can exacerbate.
Thus, with narcissists, and similar, we have to love judiciously, love appropriately, love with discernment, awareness and understanding and we have to do more. We also have to practice Appropriate Intolerance. because our doing nothing is taken by the narcissist and similar psychologies as an *implied* agreement. They will distort, “if you not disagreeing that means you agreeing,” to thus make us an unwilling accomplice, and worse, our inaction, of lack of specific Appropriate Intolerance makes us *Complicit* in their doings.
“Love without Awareness can be disastrous.“
This is the underlying understanding for making sure our Love, like everything else, is Appropriate. When we zoom out, always useful when there is some doubt, we see that while many beliefs and conceptions, especially those that at first seem overwhelmingly obviously good, are in fact not always so. Yes, they are generally so, but not always. We have to stay open, and be aware those exceptions exist, because, while they may be exceptions, if not paid attention to and dealt with appropriately, can be extremely negatively consequential.
Also, sadly, and it tears deeply at my heart, but unfortunately it’s all too common for trouble to come from *Inappropriate Application of Goodness.* It’s a huge problem for many Good People. But, I also have a deep deep Love, Reverence and Connection-to-Grace for, and with, Earnest Goodness. It is this wonderment in Good People that always saves them and the world in the end.
Rules of submissions: There are no rules.
- Your name can be a “handle” to protect privacy.
- You can choose whether you want a private response or a feature article created from your question. We can’t promise that all requests for a feature article will result in a feature article.
About the Columnist
A Contemporary Philosopher and Writer, who exercises a glorious intellectual mind that is most admirable for its profundity and sharpness. Often offering multiple sides of an argument, and provoking self-introspection. Their aim is to uncover Appropriateness, Awareness, Attention, Application, Attunement, and more, with a unique, high-level understanding of the profound intricacies that interlace these concepts.
. . . more to come